Jealousy, Transformed

I hate when I feel a tinge of the green monster when reading an article I wish I had written.  Of course, I immediately expected to feel that way when I read Stephanie Rosenbloom’s “Solo in Paris” in the Times.  When I went to Paris alone on vacation in 2011, I had figured it was the whimsy of a naif; but lo, it was a worthwhile topic, in the Times, no less!

“This was not simply because I was in Paris,” she writes, “though it has long held a kind of magic for many Americans. It was because I was there on my own. In a city that has been perfecting beauty since the reign of Napoleon III, there are innumerable sensual details — patterns, textures, colors, sounds — that can be diluted, even missed, when chattering with someone or collaborating on an itinerary. Alone one becomes acutely aware of the hollow clack of pétanque balls in a park; the patina of Maillol’s bronze “Baigneuse se Coiffant” that makes her look wet even on a cloudless day in the Tuileries; how each of the empty wine bottles beside sidewalk recycling bins is the embodiment of someone’s good time. There is a Paris that deeply rewards the solo traveler.”

At the end, she wonders if she can ever retain that blissful feeling that comes from walking around Paris with no agenda.  I’m here to tell you, Stephanie, that you can.  Reading your piece brought back that feeling for me.  Literary Prozac, of sorts.  Or Beaujolais Nouveau.  Perhaps I will write my own travelogue, and someone else can write theirs, and so on and so forth, and we can pile them all into an anthology to be titled The Joy of the Flaneur.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: