Yep. So slow.

Friday. Reading. Reading and realizing I need to actually write this presentation for a conference in New Jersey in a couple weeks (literally) that I’ve been putting off. Eeep.

Saturday was much more fun though.

It’s always such a delight to me to meet up with friends/former classmates/former students (still cannot believe I can write this last one) when I’m in Paris, and yesterday was no exception. First up was coffee with a former student (who herself was also a grad student during her time in the course I was TFing, and yes, before you ask, that is a very strange thing to encounter) at La Fontaine de Belleville, which is quickly becoming my favorite spot in the city if for no reason other than the live jazz on Saturdays. I’m also kind of determined at this point to go there enough times that they start to recognize me and can predict my order of a café noisette with optional sablé cookie right away. Will update if/when that moment ever happens.

After enjoying the music for a while, we headed out for a bit of a stroll, during which we stumbled across what I am starting to consider as the new manifestation of the theatre of the absurd.

A suitcase was abandoned near rue Montorgeuil. Seeing that the state of emergency that followed November 2015 – and that Macron has pretty much signed into law – is still in full force, this seemingly innocuous navy blue object was treated with all the care of a live land mine. There was the cordoned off perimeter – which, let’s be honest, would have been about as useful as a paper umbrella in a blizzard if there actually was anything dangerous in the suitcase –, policemen announcing that passerby were to stay back, and a little robot poling and prodding the offending object, confirming what the exasperated crowd of onlookers already suspected: there was nothing inside. I think though what solidified the theatricality of the whole thing was what happened immediately afterwards. As pedestrians were allowed to move freely again, a small crowd of people gathered around the suitcase to stare at it, poke it, turn it upside down, take photographs of it, simultaneously elevating its status to ‘sacred object’ while debasing and destroying it even further.

Hyper-security can produce such strange spectacle sometimes.

Later that evening, I met up with another member of my cohort who is also living in Paris at the moment, and I finally tried Da Vito, the pizzeria that’s a front for that one speakeasy bar (Moonshiner) behind a fridge that I think I have written about here before. Honestly, not bad at all.

And finally, today was the last day of that Shakespeare monologue workshop/meetup I signed up for a few weeks back. As it was the final class, it mostly consisted of everyone presenting their monologues, getting a bit of feedback, and then heading out to a pub for some drinks to celebrate the end of the course. I think I’m going to try and keep a foot in this group somehow, if not just as a good resource to refresh some of the more ‘classical’ elements of my technique a bit (plus, it’s not like I’m actively hustling for auditions anyway).

The weather has started to turn a bit, and soon I think my walking habit will be tested. I’m going to try and hold out as long as I can. Wish me luck.

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