Monday, December 13, 2010

Writing Cafe in Paris~ Missing Paris Day

(Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen)

My last trip to Paris
I think I told you that I spent one particular day writing
in several cafes, churches and the infamous Shakespeare and Co.
trying purposefully to fit them all into one day.

One of the cafes was Le Champ de Mars
just across the park of the same name
which separates the 15th and the 7th arrondissement
and houses the monument-iful Tour Eiffel.

I have yet to walk through this park without being able to take my eyes off the tower. Funny that something so despised by the French in the beginning should become such a national symbol. Like the Golden Gate Bridge and Big Ben, anyone who sees this symbol in a photo or tv clip knows instantly where they are.

The tree-lined alleys are typically hopping with joggers,
le sport of jogging having 'stuck' in France.

On this particular day, I ordered myself a lait chaud
and set about filling longhand pages in my notebook...

...taking notes on the interior of the cafe...

...the people...

...and, as they were preparing for lunch,
the powerful French aromas emanating from the kitchen.

A friend of ours goes to Paris nearly every summer for two months
to study painting under a Montmartre artiste.
I've made a couple of requests regarding certain scenes in the neighborhood
and I think Cafe Le Champ de Mars might make the perfect subject matter!

Paris definitely has that je ne sais quoi
that attracts artistes of every ilk.

What is it, do you think, that inspires such devotion to artistry in this city?



    It is so nice to see you and come to visit your lovely corner here with visions of a French life. I still don't know what it is, after all these years of knowing French people, speaking the language and being immersed in the culture that just IS MAGICAL. The décor, the relaxed way of life, at least in Provence, and the JOIE DE VIVRE is what makes me dig deeper into the language. Oh dearest, I have not had a chance to listen to French radio! This year has been a HUGE JUGGLING ACT between teaching FIFTY STUDENTS NOW and learning a new ENGLISH curriculum. I still teach science and social studies in French, but my new role (thanks to budget cuts and the dismissal of two fulltime English teachers), I have just about run down my stores. This is my last week of school before a two week Christmas break and I AM SO HAPPY!

    GOOD TO SEE YOU and enjoy this lovely season DREAMING of all that is lovely!


  2. I am not sure what it is, Kirsten, but I wish there was more of it here in the States! Merry Christmas! xo

  3. I think it is the architecture and the love of beauty.. Carla

  4. Your pictures and words make me miss a place I have never been.

  5. Hi Kirstie, Your photos are soooo fantastic: clear, colorful, lovely, enchanting.


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