This is Vincennes. It’s a suburb just outside of Paris where the family and I are going to be based for the next few months. It’s actually a lovely area with a beautiful park and a castle with a moat but no lava or dragons in the moat which is kind of a rip off if you ask me but whatever. Point is it really is a quaint and charming area. I took that photo all for effect.
I wanted to get in a travel diary update before I bounced out to the next place, while we are technically “based” here till the end of August I’m flying out at the end of this week for 2 weeks back in the US in various cities. Tara and Ripley will still be here though, and her mom is coming to visit them so they won’t be alone or bored, but you know, being alone and stuck in a lovely 3rd floor apartment overlooking a part in Paris.. worse things could happen.
My Travel Diary posts have not been as frequent as I expected them to be, however I unfortunately can’t say it’s because I’ve so caught up in writing the book. That is even more neglected. Well, neglected in the ‘failing to contribute new and valid content to’ meaning of the word, not neglected in the ‘staring at it every day without typing anything and thinking about it nonstop while doing things other than staring at it without typing’ kind of way. I’d blame writers block, but it’s really just me sucking. I need to stop, and I will, just so far I’ve been busier on this trip than I’d expected to be. I haven’t been completely unproductive in the authorial sense, and in fact wrote a piece for BoingBoing about an all too brief trip to Dublin that I took last week which should be live before too long (I’ll link to it when it is) and I have been making a lot of notes of things to spend more time on. I think there’s going to end up being more narrative bits in it. Originally I was thinking it would be more 2nd person philosophical rambling, but I’m thinking some more first hand stories will find their way in there.
OK, enough writing about writing.
I’m liking Paris much more this trip than I have in the past. I actually enjoyed my last trip here too, but this time feels much more comfortable. Staying in an apartment rather than a hotel (thanks Harold!) gives a much more homely feel, in a good way. And being in Vincennes rather than directly in Paris is nice. It’s a neighborhood, and when I say Bonjour to the lady at the corner market she seems to remember that yesterday I was there buying something else from her. That wouldn’t happen in the city where 500 other tourists have passed through the doors in between my visits. Of course I stick out a little bit because of the tattoos and all, but people don’t seem to mind and it’s really nice to be remembered. That’s kind of the obsession part of localism anyway isn’t it? Finding the place not only where you think you fit in, but a place that thinks you fit in. Being remembered by a corner market shop keeper is a pretty good fitting in marker I think. And it hasn’t hurt walking through some parts of town that feel a bit like Los Angeles, parts I definitely wouldn’t have seen if I was in a hotel off a main drag.
Except LA doesn’t have as many man purses.
What I haven’t gotten use to is the super long days. It’s fully daylight out until 10pm and dusk for another hour after that. The deceiving part is places still close around 8pm and on several occasions I’ve though about running to the store before it gets too late only to realize it’s already 9:30pm and everything is already locked up for the night. This messes up my schedule even more because I’m used to working many hours into the evening, which if my body doesn’t think evening begins until almost midnight makes for some really late nights and it’s hasn’t been infrequent to wake up realizing it’s already noon. That said, this isn’t a horrible thing for many reasons, not the least of which is the afore mentioned next leg of this trip to NYC that begins in a few days. This staying up super late and sleeping in super late is actually pretty much on normal hours for New York, so I won’t really have any adjusting when I get there.
It’s taken me almost 3 hours to write this little bit since I keep getting distracted by e-mails and twitter and whatever else so I’m going to just cut it off and will hopefully have more success another time..