Wednesday, April 30, 2014

take, for instance

Last Friday, I left my apartment for the first time in a week -- bedridden with the flu even though I had the shot! Be warned. I went to the Met and saw the Charles Marville exhibit, which Alex discussed beautifully, and the accompanying "Paris as Muse" curation. I'd been reading Invisible Cities, which I can't recommend more as a pairing for those photographs and the urbanist treatise they represent. Certainly easier to carry around than The Arcades Project, at least. I always forget that Paris is quite new when I'm there or when I'm thinking of it from here.

The Met is open until 9 on Fridays and Saturdays, and it's become a favorite place to take myself for a look and a drink. Here are some small thoughts from that day:

Luxury is actually a quite simple thing. Take, for instance, the seventeen dollar chardonnay right here (a glass!) next to my computer when you don't want to know what I have in the bank for the month. And what about the pear in my bag, a few dollars to spend on a soda outside on the steps, the weather mild enough to find a bench in the park, a sunny slope with a tree. And then the table at the restaurant (not the café, not the bar), the laptop out, the Calvino neatly to the side. Luxury defined, thrown into relief, by tea and toast this morning, the colorless cotton of a sweater, hair plainly arranged and just washed, the hygiene of everything.

The restaurant, with its wall of glass doors overlooking the lawn and the obelisk (now under restoration) in the distance, with its "Torso of Chained Action" here before my table, a womanly form next to this vista of blossomed trees and bare and budding ones, is a good place to watch the sunset. Here the sun dips into tangled branches and thick hanging clouds while the robins on the lawn peck around for seed.

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