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I’m in my bed in Cranston as I write this. More tired than I’ve been in months. Here’s some stuff I saw today. The fuzzy pictures are of the Casco Bay.
Luckily I’m near a lot of quality neighborhood restaurants frequented by quiet, smoking locals. Butte aux Cailles is simply perfect.
I got a private tour.
It’s an old and proud institution that gave us Julia Child. They offer degrees in cuisine, pastry and a combo that’s called the Grand Diplome. That’s the expensive one. It lacked the CIA’s Ivy League feel, which I’m not sure I liked or not.
Caution: Big decisions ahead.
I haven’t told you about the sublime cigarette butts on the sidewalk. I haven’t told you about the drug addicts who water the plants when no one else does, the toothless chef who seasons garbage into perfection, the realization that France has dumb people too, the psychotic professors, the savage dogs, the filled and broken hearts.
I’ve got this book called the Art of Tavel by Alain Botton, and I’m only about 100 pages in, but he talks a lot about these mundane things you see when you travel and how they’re part of the value of the voyage. It’s great because I’m doing this already, like with seeing the cigarette butts – or the lack thereof – and seeing something as beautiful as a palm tree or the Eiffel Tower.
When I think about this stuff, I wonder about deconstructing the value of this place, so it’s as boring as home, but then reconstructing here and home back into something beautiful. In other words, if France is special, Worcester or Bushwick or Waterplace Park must be special too.
Here’s a picture of my room on Olèron Island on the Savage Coast.