26 June 2012
We have visitors until Friday morning and we move to a hotel Sunday afternoon. The movers are coming on Monday. In the meantime, my son has two birthday parties to attend over the weekend.
I'm not sure how busy I will be during the next nine days, but I'm pretty sure I won't be spending much time on my laptop, so I decided to go ahead and post something quick in case this becomes my last update from Lyon, France. It probably will.
I took this photo this morning while walking toward Parc de la Tête d'Or. The building, No.8 rue Godefroy, 6eme arrond., has always stirred my imagination.
It's a rather grand building, standing all on its own on a tiny block with no neighbors. There is a big gate separating its courtyard from the street, and on the northern side, there is another small garden area, gated and fenced off from public.
All I can see of the inside is the ceilling lights on the second floor, and from the look of them, I know that the space is currently being used as a business office.
I fancy this building to be a mansion that once belonged to a very wealthy family but had to be sold off due to unfortunate circumstances. The harsh fluorescent lights I see through the windows are like cheap, ugly lipstick on an elegant lady -- they're incongruent, they don't belong with this beautiful building, and they make me sad.
I wonder who built, owned, and lived in this building. I wonder what happened to them. I wonder how many servants they had, what food they ate, what they wore. I wonder how many babies were born here, and how many deaths had to be mourned.
I am, of course, romanticizing. Now, if I was fluent in French, I could go to the Archives de municipales de Lyon and try to find out the history behind the building.
Alas, my French is too limited for that kind of project. It's too ambitious an endeavor anyway, because I have only nine days left in Lyon.
20 June 2012
Some photos from Luisenpark in Mannheim.
We walked around...
Sat in the chairs that are available everywhere in the park...
Played giant chess...
Watched the birds, and watched someone taking photos of the birds...
Walked around some more...
And got a piggy-back ride.
We had lunch at one of the restaurants in the park, and sadly had to leave around 2 p.m. as we had a long drive back home.
Otherwise, we would have stayed all day. What a beautiful, fun park.
18 June 2012
I went to Les Puces du Canal for the last time yesterday.
I wasn't looking to buy anything -- my niece was visiting for the weekend and wanted to go to the fea market; I thought it would give me an opportunity to say good-bye to the lovely people I've bought some wonderful things from during the last three years.
I used my very limited French to explain that I was returning to the U.S. permanently, and that I was grateful for the opportunity I had to get to know them. I wanted to tell them that I would take care of the things I purchased from them, but my French failed me there.
I don't think it mattered. They seem genuinely touched that I would come and say hello for the last time. They all wished me luck with the move and with my new life back in the States (I'm pretty sure that's what they said).
Until yesterday, I'd been a little worried that some of my fragile Puces finds wouldn't survive the transatlantic voyage. I thought I'd be heartbroken if something broke in transit. But I realized yesterday that what I treasure about these things are not the things themselves but the memories and stories that come with them -- memories and stories of these wonderful people and the absolutely delightful place that is Les Puces du Canal. Even if something broke, I'd still have the memories to carry and stories to tell.
And there's no price tags on memories and stories. That makes this painted box, for which I paid only 5€, a truly remarkable bargain of the century.