I got into Paris on Sunday - successfully navigated my way from the airport, to the bus, to the proper metro station, to the proper train, to the proper stop, to the proper street, and finally to the proper Parisian flat! My lovely friend Clarissa from NYC is my link to my ever so gracious hostess, Isabel, in Paris. Isabel and her family were kind enough to take me in and allow me free reign of their flat. Unfortunately, Isabel had to fly to NYC and Haiti for work. Fortunately, her son, Joaquim, has been kind enough to act as my tour guide for the past few days. Yesterday, we hopped on his scooter to the Pompidou Musee and saw the France, Delhi, Bombay exhibition, then to pick me up some new/old shoes at a vintage store (Chaco sandals are not chic enough for Paris or practical as the weather is rainy and chilly). We met up with two of his friends, David (a filmmaker) and Raphael (a visual artist) for a drink at a cafe. There was a bit of a language barrier, but the experience was delightful nonetheless! We played the Exquisite Corpse game and talked about travels, art, etc. Afterward, per David's suggestion, we went to see a concert in a church in which an acquaintance of his was performing. We had a bite to eat, parted ways, and Joaquim and I took to the scooter back to the Flat on Boulevard du Barbes. Ah, new friends!
Today is the Fete du Musique. All over Paris one can find bands performing, restaurants with little tables out on the street for quick meals, and swarms of people. I took to the streets, on foot, toward Sacre Coer (a famous church, absolutely beautiful); you get a pristine, panoramic view of Paris from up there. I sketched a bit until hunger pangs hit and searched the streets for the "parfait" cafe. (Which really meant finding a cafe that my "gut" told me to enter)
I had a three course, over-budget meal of quiche provincale, boef bogignon, salade vert, a 1664 beer, a creme caramel for dessert, and a cafe to top it all off. Phew! The owner an Egyptian/Parisian man and I spoke for 4 hours. He brought me art books to look through (once he noticed that I was an artist) and encouraged me to draw in his sketchbook. He said I could be the next Picasso. He also encouraged me to stay in Paris, that he could possibly help me to find a position with one of his friends. Seeing as I have no real plans for the future, I accepted his offer - if nothing else, I can use the contacts for the future. One project at a time, though - I need to finish GAP as I've just only begun...