Archive for December, 2011

I awoke long before dawn today, feeling lonely and melancholic, so I went to my bookshelf in search of solace. My bookshelf doesn’t hold books, so much as cherished memories: Most of the books I own were gifts from friends. Today I picked up Karsten Heuer’s Being Caribou, a birthday present from my dear friend […]

Some people call me the Don Quixote of the Latin Quarter because my head is so far up in the clouds that I can imagine all of us are angels in paradise. George Whitman wrote those words on the chalkboard outside his bookstore on January 1, 2004. George Whitman, who died in Paris yesterday at […]

Going postal


I was so proud of myself when I filled out the customs form. “Total value of imported goods: $120.” It’s true that I’d bought a cashmere sweater in Paris ($100 value), and a book ($20 value). But—thanks to a customs loophole—there was no need to declare the tuna ($30 value), the Ariel detergent ($30 value), […]

“What to do last day Paris” is among the most common (and most syntax-challenged) searches on HBlog. I’ll have to post my suggestions one of these days. But for now, I’ll just stick to what Esteban and I did on OUR last day in Paris. I’ll start at the beginning—the part where I pity my […]

In his wonderful book Paris to the Moon, Adam Gopnik returns over and over again to the Luxembourg Gardens. And with good reason: This park is one of Paris’ most beautiful, most popular public spaces. Esteban and I ended up there today by default. We’d planned on getting out of town — maybe to Chartres, […]

When I moved to a different apartment in Paris on Friday, it wasn’t the beautiful bas-reliefs on the ceiling, the three bathrooms, or the lovely stained-glass windows that caught my attention. It was the gaping hole across the street. It’s common to see construction in Paris, a city that seems to be perpetually reinventing—and repairing—itself. […]