I came here purposely this time in November because since I have been coming here I have almost always been here in November.
There a couple of advantages, from my viewpoint, to that.
The first: I get to be here for my birthday and American Thanksgiving.
The former allows me to celebrate in my favorite place in the world.
The latter allows me to avoid a psychotic American event.
Both are good things, I have thought since I have begun coming here.
The second: it is cold in Paris in November.
That means that I can wear an adequate coat which can generally conceal what I need to conceal from the pick pockets and other ne’r do wells and, as a side benefit, keep me warm.
I can also wear a nice scarf and pretend to be a Parisian.
Not so fast.
Today was 72 ‘merican degrees.
That sounds like more than 22 French degrees
So I will be red blooded ‘merican here.
Because it really was, from a walk on the Seine viewpoint in November, hot as a bitch.
If you happened to be wearing a Uni Glo vest.
Which I was.
And that situation screams for ‘merican degrees.
I sweated like a pig as I set out down the river level quais of the Seine.
Because I had worn my Uni Glo down vest which I almost didn’t bring on this trip.
Because it has no arms.
And it’s too cold in Paris in November to run around with something without arms.
But it was the lightest thing I had for hot as a bitch November weather on the Seine.
And its lack of arms allowed for some increment of less heat retention while still providing a garment that has theoretically secure storage for phones and wallets.
That garment put a damper on my photographic creativity.
At least I guess that was why I didn’t even take the camera out of its case until I was under Pont Alexandre III.
That turned out to have been an advantage.
I have taken pictures under various of Paris’ bridges over time, but never the structural underpinnings of Pont Alexandre.
I took a couple of those and got one of the art work just to remind myself where it was that I had been when I took pictures of all those girders and stuff.
At this point I was still unsure of where it was that I thought that I was going.
Other than, ultimately, in a cosmic sense, to hell.
But I didn’t have to decide yet.
Pont de l’Alma, for me, is where I decide where it is that I am really going.
I was pretty sure that that was Neuilley, but I wasn’t really sure.
And I was sweating like a pig.
And there were a bunch Chinese tourists that kept lurching into my path.
Maybe, I thought, I ought to abandon this and go back to Le Depart.
But I didn’t.
I kept slogging.
And that turned out for the best.
Because I got some good pictures of le Bois de Boulogne – that’s one of my options at Pont de l’Alma and turned out to be where I was really going..
And by the time I had gotten back to Port Dauphine I had walked enough miles to justify getting on the Metro and going back to Le Depart for some wine and frites.
Which is what I did.
And at Le Depart I turned my camera on burst mode and got a good look at humanity as it passed me and my wine and my frites.
Le Depart is a lot like the Ton Son Nhut Officer’s Club in 1966-67.
When I was there – in Saigon - all I had to do was stay at the Officer’s Club long enough – a pleasant alternative to the “war effort” - and I would see everybody in the military (which, since there was then a draft that caught a lot of us – or at least, as was my case, caused a lot of us to get the best deal we could conjure in the military, was quite a few people) that I had ever known.
GW Bush had a different deal.
He got to play Air Force officer when he had a moment.
And he didn’t have many.
And the playmates he chose years later when he got appointed by the Supreme Court to the Presidency – so his father is saying now – led him astray.
What a stalwart successor to Washington, Lincoln, Adams, Roosevelt GHW even, and the rest.
What an asshole: he couldn’t even choose playmates who wouldn’t lead him astray.
Moral fiber of the first water, I would say.
…what a travesty for the rest of us – all of us.
Le Depart appears to be an analog of that phenomenon (the sit in the bar long enough at Ton Son Nhut and you will see everybody you ever knew phenomenon): all forms of humanity that we currently know of are likely to pass by Le Depart in any not very extended period of time.
A random few examples:
All victims of GW’s faulty choice of playmates.
But who really cares.
Things are even worse now.