sun 27 jun 2004 12:00:00 raamgracht
another trip to paris
just returned last night at midnight from another trip to paris. this time my mission was to see the two manet paintings featuring victorine meurent. they appear in my story "a kitten at the feet of olympia" and i wanted to see what the environment was really like.
r family have now a guest room built in their basement, which was very nice for me because it opens on to the garden where i could go out for a smoke any time. the garden is in good shape now too. lots more gracious hospitality from the family. auntie cooks alone, no help allowed except to carry the salad bowl (she grows her own lettuce).
pani had just come from poland the day before i arrived. she may be coming to amsterdam this week.
i got up the audacity thursday to find my way alone on the RER to musée d'orsay. which is good because if i had been accompanied i would not have felt free to stand in one place for half an hour taking notes. i took copious notes in my little notebook about the environment and things i saw on the way. then on friday pani and i went to place st michel and the surrounding area up along blvd st germain. bought two shirts for me at a store called celio. which satisfied her "shopping hormones" and the fact that there were sales on everywhere. i learned a few more french words. at lunch at creperie de cluny near blvd st michel. saw a hotel i thought i could place my character at in the story.
friday night we went to a dance recital of pauline's dance school. in a theater in sceaux. this was interesting to me on two levels, one wholesome, the good nature of the show itself, all the age groups, the cute african guy who teaches them all, the whole family coming out to cheer their daughter. and then on a crude voyeuristic level too. i was sitting there by invitation but anonymous, watching a lot of cute young babes coincidentally shake their tits in addition to the choreography they were following.
i returned to amsterdam saturday night. was hungry when i got here. had a cig outside CS, saw a hot dog stand. got a hotdog and coke, and as i was pumping mustard on to my dog, i heard TV inside the kraam, a football game and some excited words about oranje. moments later as i was eating, another announcement on the TV and the people op straat around me erupted in to cheering. i heard a wave of cheering echoing from inside the station door behind me. and the taxis started honking. i figured okay maybe tonight will not be a good night to go catch a beer ... i just took the metro to nieuwmarkt station and walked home via the nieuwe hoogstraat exit.