Meredith and Phil breezed through Paris this weekend! Their stays overlapped by four hours, which we spent lunching at Café Latin (corner of rue Saint André des Arts & rue Gît-le-Coeur in the Latin Quarter — highly recommended) and wandering, as one does. It wasn't strange at all to be a BCF contingent strolling the streets of France, like I thought it might; it felt quite natural. Perhaps this foretells of future international BCF posses traveling the world?... In any case, what a stroke of odd luck that we should all meet up here!
Mere had to leave mid-afternoon, sadly, and what followed for her was (as near as I could tell from texting) a sequence of late trains, missed trains, and trains hitting animals which ensured that she got to Germany much later than she wanted for a friend's party. I hope she still had a good time though.
Phil, Phil's sister Allison, Deven, and I went to the Louvre in the evening. Admission is free for people under 26 on Friday nights. It wasn't as crowded or unpleasant as I'd assumed it would be. In fact it was quite a good time, and I believe we saw the best of the Louvre without getting fatigued of painting after painting of Madonna and baby Jesus. We did the Mona Lisa—Venus de Milo—Winged Victory circuit, then followed our feet to the Greek/Roman/Egyptian/Mesopotamian exhibits, where exquisite statues and disturbingly stained mummies (French: momies) awaited.
I felt like a horrible American tourist, with my LeSportSac knockoff backpack, Adidas sneakers, American Apparel sweatshirt, and camera 'round my neck. I wanted to explain to every French person there that this was my fifth time in the Louvre and I hadn't even taken the camera before and I actually live in the banlieux, and the only reason I'm snapping a photo of this painting instead of gazing ponderously upon it is that I've already seen it and gazed upon it ponderously or even instensely ponderously and even learned about the artist's life and influences in a class at the Sorbonne... But obviously I couldn't, and didn't, and I went on speaking English and feeling like an imposter, although I'm not sure whether I felt like an American acting Parisian or vice versa. In any case, I knew that I would have judged myself had I shown up backpackless and camera-free. I think, in conclusion, I need to work on not being such a snob. It's difficult not to be, though, when one sees tour groups of Goth tweens wearing "I <3 Paris" shirts mutilating French place names ("Mawnt-marter?") on a daily basis. And, after all, they're supporting this beautiful city, this beautiful city of light that is sucking my own bank account as dry as Fargo, ND, isn't right now.
More pictures of the Louvre tomorrow. You can look at my Flickr for the better ones, but they haven't been Phhotoshopped to within an inch — sorry, Europe/rest of world, I mean centimeter — of their lives yet, the way I like them to be.