Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

Walking on Sunshine

Oh… where do I begin.

I feel like I am in some kind of fever of happiness.  It is hot here.  Hot, sunny, unbelievably beautiful.  I am feeling a bit crisp as I have spent some days hanging out in the direct sun.

For much of the 1990s I used to be a fixture in Dolores Park in San Francisco on sunny weekends.  I had my “perch” and if it was nice out, my friends knew where to find me.  It was where I found my center; my meditation zone.  It was the place where, on a warm day, I could feel the earth below me and the sun on my face and all the chaos around me (and believe me there was chaos) dissipated into a million little sunlight crystals on the outside of my eyelids.  I drank thousands of bottles of wine there, as well as nursed dozens of hangovers, while looking over the skyline of San Francisco and at a lot of gay dudes in speedos.

Then I left San Francisco in 2002 and I guess, until this week, I kind of forgot that feeling of laying in an urban park, with no money in my pocket but with some wine in my bag, and with a book which maybe I would not even look at due to other things that are infinitely more compelling.  I’ve found my Paris “perch,” and it is at the canal that leads from the Seine to the Bastille.  There, I sort of sink back into the earth, which is littered with cigarette butts and other assorted flotsam and jetsam.   But it is urban earth and ultimately it is this that I feel most comfortable in.

I have been reading though – don’t get me wrong.  One thing that seems to be repeatedly written about Paris by various expats, travel writers and what have you, is that “Paris should be first discovered by those in love, or by the young.”  Well.  I have two answers for that.  The strong answer and the mild answer.

#1 – What a load of effing crap. (Strong.)

#2 – I guess that hasn’t really been my experience. (Mild.)

Having said that, it would be cool to be in Paris in love, and it would be AWESOME to be in Paris and be young, or especially, to be a Parisian child.  To get wheeled around in a comfy stroller and then be able to run around in these fabulous parks, and then to be fed all manner of the best possible sweets… I reckon children could give a fig about all this beauty everywhere.  But the treats?  It’s like mecca for 4 year olds.

It is like mecca for me, too, food wise and I don’t even have very much money.  Today I was lucky enough to hang with my friends Nancy and David, who organized a small picnic with some frequent posters on the chowhound.com message board.  We sat on a tiny strip of park somewhere in the Marais eating roast chicken and potatoes, an amazing pate akin to the best cold meatloaf on the planet, bread and cheese and fruit, a selection of fabulous desserts (see “4 year old mecca,” above) and wine (even though a sign leading into the park had an illustration of a guy drinking out of a bottle and the word “vin” underneath with a line drawn through it.  According to David but maybe he was just messing with me.)  The chicken was purchased at the Sunday market on RIchard Lenoir Blvd, but there was some discussion leading up to the purchase, as in, we needed to go to “book” the chicken for pickup later in case they ran out.  I love roast chicken and I also love that the need to “reserve” one comes out about 25 seconds after “hello.” Fantastic.

After the hours of eating and drinking in the park, we all go our separate ways.  Walking though streets crowded with locals and tourists and folks, I suppose, coming in from the suburbs for the day I feel as though I am walking home.  And I am, kind of.  I head to the canal and it is too hot to sit in the sun so I find the shade of a tree.  Everyone is out.  It is too hot to be in.  Laying on the grass seems so much better than sitting in a cafe.  Some people on a boat are attempting to barbecue, fairly unsuccessfully.  As in, they are smoking out half of Paris. It is nice to know there is one thing the Parisians cannot do.

Now the sun is going down, and I am eating some of the leftover chicken and potatoes.  Outside my windows the sky is painted pink.  I could wake up tomorrow to cold or to rain.  I don’t care.  After just over a week, this is my home, for now at least, and I can’t really be persnickity if the world decides to go back to normal.  Onward.

6 Responses to “Walking on Sunshine”

  1. nancyhol Says:

    Woo Hoo! Another blog post!

    It sounds like a perfect day in Paris, picnicking in the park and watching the world go by. I want to be there too!

  2. Jane Says:

    Persnickity? Great word! Another wonderful post. Thanks!

  3. Eden Says:

    Wonderful! Wishing to be there too.

  4. Beth Martin Says:

    “It is nice to know there is one thing the Parisians cannot do.” I love this and so agree! Am very much enjoying your blog and living vicariously through your experiences!

  5. JustTravel Says:

    You are making me wish I am in Paris right now. Our monthly stay in the last two years had been in the neighborhood. I am missing the Richard Lenoir market!!!! And I bet I know which park Nancy and David took you to.

    Dolores Park – I worked in that neighborhood in the 70s at our children’s school just off 18th and Dolores.

  6. Sandrac Says:

    I’ve never understood that crap that Paris (or Venice, or Rome, or wherever) is for lovers, or the young. When you’re in love, everything looks fabulous. Dogpound would be beautiful when you’re in love.

    I like how you’re making Paris your own!

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