What is the lure for the writer of Paris? Surely there must be people there who were born and lived in that city who dream of other cities?
I saw the exhibit at the Metropolitan Art Museum of the Leo/Gertrude/Michael/Susan Stein collections. The pull that the art and the mood of Paris created in the hearts of American siblings who landed there when the world was putting a first tentative toe into modernism. Like Woody Allen’s film, perhaps that is the Paris we are all seeking. A Paris that is gone. Writers have that weakness for lost worlds. Such worlds cannot be sifted. They have been pulled from the oven of our minds baked and ready for digestion.
The last time I saw Paris was just about this time of year. We stayed in Montparnasse. We walked the crumbling grounds of Pere Lachaise. We rode the tourist train in Montmarte. We ate the food and drank the wine. And inspite of smelly cars and modern malls, we returned with images that sustained us where our mundane lives could not. And I hoped the last time I saw Paris wouldn’t be the last time.