On Friday night, we stood in line to check our bags at the Philly airport when suddenly we heard this: “Hey! Blaise’s parents!” It was my oldest son’s best friend from middle school, who happened to move to Rome the same time we moved to Paris. Last year, on exactly the same day, The Hubs, my youngest son, and I were in exactly the same place at the Philly airport, embarking on our Grand Déménagement, when we ran into Hayden and his family. What later ensued was a surprise snowstorm - let’s call it a squall - which grounded our plane after we sat on the runway for seven hours. Seven hours, people. But I digress. My point is, seeing these peeps exactly a year later in the same place? It’s kind of a wake-up call. My life has come full circle. I’ve lived in Paris for one year. I’m a completely different person and yet I’m the same.
I spent an hour editing a chapter of my novel while drinking terrible chardonnay somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. I watched a movie and I read 40 pages of Les Miserables. And then I landed in Paris. After a nap (flying is exhausting), I edited more of my novel. So anyways. I deserved a break today, don’t you think?
In a year’s time, I’ve walked past the Centre Georges Pompidou on a half dozen occasions. I’ve admired its unique architecture from the outside while breezing through Le Marais, but I never went in. So today seemed as good a day as any, particularly because it was like 36 degrees outside and I despise the cold.
I got there at 1:15 and there was no line. I wasn’t sure how much longer that would last, so I went straight to the 6th floor to admire the Jeff Koons and Marcel Duchamp exhibitions, where I learned Jeff Koons is from York, Pennsylvania and I was like, hey that’s cool. Because, yanno, I’m from PA and all that.
The experience was different. I know that’s what everyone says. I’m so cliche. Please don’t think I’m ignorant (maybe a little), because I do appreciate modern art. But quite frankly, the window view of Parisian rooftops was sometimes more interesting than the stuff on the walls, but that’s just me. I was particularly pleased when I looked over the exterior balcony and witnessed the line of no less than 300 people waiting to get in. So I got lucky. (1:15 seems to be a key arrival time to Paris museums for me… never a line… knock on wood).
The Pompidou Museum is definitely something to see. If given the opportunity every tourist should try to swing past it. I won’t be going back into the galleries myself, unless a special exhibit comes around that I’m dying to see. I suppose that could happen. Not.
One tremendous thing did happen though, as a result of my first official procrastination tactic of the new year. I discovered this: The Bibliotheque Centre Pompidou (otherwise known as BPI). Ah, yeah. That’s sorta cool. I’m adding this to my list of places to write. Provided I can snag a seat, I do believe this could help my productivity issues. I’m the coworking type. At the beginning of last year, I spent plenty of hours at the Paris library near my old apartment in the 17th, which is where most of my novel began to take shape. If it weren’t for that library, I probs wouldn’t be this far along. (Wait, am I far along)?
My 20-year-old stepdaughter, Hannah arrives in Paris tonight (after a two-day whirlwind tour of London). She will stay with us for the next two weeks before embarking on an 8-month journey through Southeast Asia, China and Japan, and then spending the summer in Los Angeles, before returning to university in New York City for her senior year. She’s bound to keep me occupied over the next few weeks, so writing my novel may be quite challenging. That’s OK, because Hannah’s awesome, and I’m always up for a good challenge.