We stroll along the Champs-Élysées, always heavily populated with tourists admiring the Arc de Triomphe and gathering at bistros and cafes to watch the never-ending parade. It is the quieter places we seek, sitting on a bench opposite the American embassy.
Across from us, school girls take a break to have their lunch. Once again, my ‘covetousness’ emerges – “They are able to enjoy this every day of the week, every day of the year.” Our thirst for Paris is never quenched. No matter how long our stay, whether two weeks of three months, we always want more.
This day, there is a chill in the air, yet we wander along the sandy paths towards the River Seine. We come across a remarkable statue that proves my often-stated point. All of Paris is a museum. You need never enter the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay to enjoy remarkable art. (Not, mind you, that we wouldn’t enthusiastically recommend you do visit those esteemed museums!)
The weathered statue of Alphonse Daudet seems to emerge from rock and pays homage to the French writer once described by his Provencal friend, Frédéric Mistral, as “the man of disillusion and of illusion, of a senile skepticism and a juvenile curiosity.” In his lifetime, Daudet tirelessly wrote for all but four hours a day. After a lengthy, poverty-stricken beginning, he finally achieved success and now, presumably, rests in peace in Cimetiere du Père Lachaise.
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