Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Paris and Spring's Arrival

It was early March when I arrived in Paris but already the trees were flowering and everything was green.

(click for bigger)

There were cherry blossoms. My experience with cherry blossoms is usually a bit later into spring. The heat of the afternoon sun dissipates under the shade of the flowering cherry tree.

The weather was not kind. It was typical of Paris in the beginning of March, sometimes raining, brief flashes of sun, maybe a little snow flurry for fun. Yet here was all this greening, riotous springtime.

It even took over the streets and I felt a little giddy. It was odd because Paris has always been a serious place for me. It was where I learned that things were not so simple and one cannot just come in and do whatever one wants. I learned that my written French was so wrong, things were not expressed in that way. I always felt poorly dressed. Yet there I was in a taxi late at night, trying to keep track of our direction, remembering that Paris is a city of points not streets. I felt a warm tingling in my core and I realized how much I loved this city. There was the old city all romantic and stodgy with a little edge. I suppose it has always been like that. I had just never noticed.

There was some cool graffiti around the city. I particularly liked this tag on the torn plastic sheet.

There have always been tags in the train culverts and tunnels, but it seems to have spread. The tunnels on the number two line were covered with tags, streams of pastel colors glimmering in the dim light. Even the supports of the elevated tracks were painted.

The metro aerien is so beautiful, it's one of my favorite parts of the city.

There was a bit of Shepard Fairey's work in with the graffiti near Stalingrad.

And some more near the new library.

I am not sure if the television is his though.

Also near the library is the fabulous new metro line and its pharoanic Biblioteque Francois Mitterrand station. When I think of our own MTA that is so adamant about not building cathedrals I just want to say 'Look at how cool it could be'

The windows looking down on the tracks are etched with the words of poets. These are by Coleridge

a flight of large green butterflies alighted on the leafless tree/ all shot through with Sunshine

I am afraid there won't be any metro stations named after the current president. He isn't very popular.

Well, Mitterrand was caricatured as Kermit the Frog so perhaps there is hope for Sarkozy.

Now I am back in New York and spring is happening all over again, including the crazy weather. I didn't balance eggs for the equinox this year. I have been remiss in properly noting the seasons recently. Perhaps I can do better for the solstice.

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