Paris Bits: Vignettes and Pensées, Day 6

The sixth in the series of vignettes and pensées written by my husband, David Wolf, on an extended stay in Paris one early summer. May your day allow you a little time to catch up on your own reading, thinking, and intellectual pursuits.

Vive La France

Photograph by Moyan Brenn.

Photograph by Moyan Brenn.

The hotel proprietor and I are talking (in English) as Wini and I wait in the open entryway for a taxi to the airport. The subject of vacation time comes up. I have told her that I teach and thus have summers “off,” explaining to her what that means for college professors.

“Still, you are fortunate,” she says.

“Yes, that’s true. Having worked in the corporate world for several years, I certainly appreciate it.”

“As you know, we have a minimum of six weeks vacation, mandated by the government. Holidays also.”

“Now that’s a civilization,” I reply.

I don’t understand your culture,” she continues. “With only two or three weeks of vacation each year, when do Americans have time to catch up on politics, on reading, thinking, on their intellectual pursuits?”

My laughter is so loud it attracts the attention of two gendarmes across the street.

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Paris Bits—Vignettes and Pensées, Day 5

The fifth in the series of vignettes and pensées written by my husband, David Wolf, on an extended stay in Paris one early summer. Here, we catch sight of the dome of the Panthéon—where Zola, Voltaire, Hugo, and other French writers and honores are buried. And while it’s easy to be intimidated by the greatness that has come before you, Dave sees the sight differently.

 

The Panthéon. Photo by mimmyg.

The Panthéon. Photo by mimmyg.

 

Writers on Vacation in Paris

“Look,” she says, “You can see the Pantheon from here.”

“That reminds me,” he replies, “I’ve got work to do.”

 

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More Paris Bits:

• The Eiffel Tower in the Millenium
All in a Day in Paris
The Art Teacher
Lunch on the Rue de la Roquette

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Paris Bits—Vignettes and Pensées, Day 4

As Dave says, the sight of the Eiffel Tower—sparkling or not—never grows old, because it’s more than just a dazzling structure: It speaks forcefully to the city’s inviolable commitment to civic beauty.

May this vignette bring a little sparkle to your day.

The Eiffel Tower in the Millenium

We have a view of the Eiffel Tower from our room, and though the view may be cliché, there is nothing tired about the sight, whether it is barely there in the dim rusty haze of the morning rush hour or sparkling like champagne at night with its 20,000 bulbs bubbling wildly for ten minutes each hour on the hour from dusk until 1:00 a.m. The tower’s insouciant presence in the absence of skyscrapers tells the world: We did not block up and desecrate this city’s sky. The Eiffel Tower now at mid-afternoon, sun-bronzed, distinct in the distance. From our room, with the haze cleared away by the afternoon’s brisk wind, I can see right through it.

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More Paris Bits:

Writers on Vacation in Paris
All in a Day in Paris
The Art Teacher
Lunch on the Rue de la Roquette

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Save

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