Tonight is the second full moon in Paris since we arrived. This takes us into uncharted territory; we've never been here longer than one month before. It feels great.
We've long felt at home here, but we're surprised at how much at home we feel now that we can think of ourselves as living here. i.e. cooking, eating at home, shopping for household goods, making haircut appointments, having dinner parties, thinking of a budget for the longer term rather than spending as if we were on vacation.
Every day brings something new and we are startled to see how busy we are. A bit too busy if the truth be told, and the huge bag of books I brought along, assuming long evenings reading at home, hasn't had much of a dent made in it as yet. The other day we attended a book signing by Eric Karpeles, who wrote Paintings in Proust , a book about the art Proust mentions in A la Recherche de Temps Perdu. Oh, that's another thing. I've decided I finally need to read it, and have actually gotten about 100 pages into Swann's Way. If I keep going, that bag of books will remain untouched until we go back to California. If you put all her books together, Jane Austen didn't write anywhere near as much, proof that masterpieces don't need to be long. I've never managed Henry James either. OK, I did read Portrait of a Lady.
We've been extraordinarily lucky in terms of weather. The long Indian summer finally seems to be over and last night was the first time I put on a jacket. Until now a light sweater was the only thing I've needed and even that was frequently tucked into my bag. The fallen leaves are crunching under our feet although the outdoor cafés are still open to the elements. Later in the fall they'll enclose the terrasses but even now they are beginning to use the outdoor heaters. This afternoon we saw our first hot chestnut vendors. They all seemed to be Indian, for some reason.
We imagine that with the colder weather we'll spend more time indoors and have put off most of our museum going for now. It's just too gorgeous outdoors. That's not to say we've entirely neglected the cultural offerings to date. We spent most of this afternoon at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs visiting an exhibition of dresses designed by Madeleine Vionnet in the first half of the 20th century, a stunning collection of groundbreaking fashion, several of which I'd love to wear today. On the way there we saw a very amusing exhibit of posters honoring Toulouse Lautrec.
We've seen a number of photography shows, starting with one by Henri Cartier-Bresson. At the Maison Europeene de la Photographie we saw another by the Sicilian Ferdinando Scianna, as well as something called Art Outsiders 2009 which included photos of people standing underwater in the remains of cities drowned by the water of the Three Gorges Dam in China.
We've found lots to keep us occupied and we're only beginning to take advantage of everything the city offers. Not to mention that the rest of Europe is only hours away by train or plane and we haven't even decided where we want to go. So what am I saying here? That we're thrilled and excited to be here, and not one bit homesick.