Paris windows are the best windows on Earth.
I’m sure you notice that the boys have arrows in them.
Doriot and I hopped an early train and headed out to Saint-Germain. We met Alain and Laurent at the covered market; they have a stall selling beautiful textiles and jewelry.
Besides being completely wonderful in every way, and selling exquisite silk scarves (with a WHOLE BOX of the little frou-size I love tucked away and brought out for Doriot and I to plunder), Alain (left) and Laurent (right) are jewelry designers, who would love to come to the Tucson Gem & Mineral shows. I invited them immediately, of course. What would be more wonderful? I hope they decide to do it.
After meeting them, and stocking up on silks (so affordable at the tiny size I love) we investigated the church of Saint-Sulpice, and its square and fountain.
In reading about the church, I discover that there was something fascinating I should have paid attention to. From Wiki:
In 1727 Jean-Baptiste Languet de Gergy, then priest of Saint-Sulpice, requested the construction of a gnomon in the church as part of its new construction, to help him determine the time of the equinoxes and hence of Easter. A meridian line of brass was inlaid across the floor and ascending a white marble obelisk, nearly eleven metres high, at the top of which is a sphere surmounted by a cross. The obelisk is dated 1743.
In the south transept window a small opening with a lens was set up, so that a ray of sunlight shines onto the brass line. At noon on the winter solstice (21 December), the ray of light touches the brass line on the obelisk. At noon on the equinoxes (21 March and 21 September), the ray touches an oval plate of copper in the floor near the altar.
Constructed by the English clock-maker and astronomer Henry Sully, the gnomon was also used for various scientific measurements: This rational use may have protected Saint-Sulpice from being destroyed during the French Revolution.
I also note that I am thought that Jean-Baptiste was John the Baptist, and that they had a piece of him. I was moved by this, and it was not even true, nor am I religious. It’s all about the expectations. Also, in a related thought: I suppose it would be more sensible to learn about places before one visits, but it is simply not what I do. Who knows where I will go? I can’t learn about everything, just in case I go there. Absurd. Who has that kind of room in their head?
After the magnificent Sulpice, we had lunch (Italian, and the restaurant was simply stuffed with beautiful Italians). We were on the second floor, in front of a window, and the light was exquisite. It is not difficult to understand why painters flock to Paris.
Admittedly in this shot Doriot looks more paintable than Chris, but that’s just because he isn’t trying.
Here is Matt, about to be eaten by a stone lion at the fountain.
After Saint-Germain, we headed up to Montmartre, and I was hoping to bring them up to the Sacre Coeur, and show them the shop Corpus Christi, but it began to rain, and so we didn’t get very far. I showed them the church of St. Jean (the Art Nouveau delight) and the Sylvia shoe shop next door (at which I finally bought a pair of Parisian shoes, but then it became clear that it was simply going to RAIN.
Montmartre is the last place you want to be in Paris in the rain, unless being in the rain is something you enjoy. I do. But then I’m odd. And I was lucky to be wearing a pirate shirt and leather boots that could get wet. I was invincible! But I could not find Corpus Christi, to which I should be able to navigate blindfolded, in the dark, in the rain.
I will go out again in an hour or so, to head down to the exquisite church of La Madeleine, to hear a little Ode to Joy, and a choral performance of Psalm 42. Or something like that. I may be going alone, but you know I don’t mind that. I will not be wearing my new shoes (the beautiful rain is stealing with it the chance to wear beautiful shoes) but I will still have a faceful of Fuck Yes.