Anytime one sees Paris on television or in the movies, as a character passes by a window or stops in front of one to gaze out and ponder some plot point, the Eiffel tower can be seen.
More often than not, this is not geographically accurate for where the action is taking place.
That aside, not a bad view to be sure. But I think there are more inspiring views which would have less ambient noise of tourists etc which can distract from living one’s life (working) in the city of lights.
Year after year I live in the same place, same arrondissement, in Paris. It is a working neighborhood, meaning no tourists.
However, every other door which is not a residance seems to be a bar or boulangerie.
I am ten minute walk from places to sketch like the Luxembourg gardens.
I have, after all these years become a part of my neighborhood.
When I am elsewhere in the world, I dream of being back. I have decades long relationship with my wine merchant, butcher, greengrocer and baker.
There is established level of comfortability that I know I can sit in a bar sketching on the sly and not be perceived akin to one of those people with their laptops “writing” to be found in every Starbucks stateside.
It kept raining off and on…steady rain would be all right people would click clack down the wet cobblestone streets holding a newspaper or their jacket, cape like, over their heads.
Sporadic rain, it got humid. Clothes got wet, then you find yourself cold, followed by a type of sticky as body heat working over time dries away the rain.
Stop-start of the skies festivities, people are just staying wherever they are at.
I am in one of the little intimate bars which despite my now having a studio, serves as an unofficial office.
There is a tall brown haired girl sitting alone at the bar. She wears a still wet dress whose true color is slowly being revealed as it dries.
I am at my usual table, stealing pieces of her with my pencil.
A guitarist is in the corner playing.
At first he is playing for her…his fingers conjure up abstractions which encapsulates something that could make one happy to be blue.
She is forgotten, now he plays for himself.
Her change on the counter, the cymbal fall, the end of a song.
He sees me, I nod.
I hold two fingers up to the bartender. He has never cared about busy versus dead nights so long as he sees the familiar faces of regulars over the course of the week.
We Klink our glasses.
I see him look at my sketchpad. Without hesitation I hand it to him to inspect.
He had originally wanted to be a poet using language and words as to convey the emotions which are now brought forth via his fingers. Words to make people feel.
I had wanted to, in my youth be a musician .
We had both found our way, just not in the manner originally envisioned.
Paris May ’18