Mine starts after work at the library, on Rue Montessuy, with the Eiffel Tower looking over my shoulder, I head toward Rue Bosquet, where I run into a few of my classmates and undergraduate students. Chat about an upcoming magazine publication and coffee, of course.
I continue my walk down Rue de St. Dominique. This time with my headphones in, I stop trying to understand and just observe. I smell the shop for fromage a block away, the wine vendor is outside smoking, when his friend walks up and they kiss in the middle of the sidewalk. I step into the street to avoid running into them, when a scooter honks at me for getting in his way.
Passing Invalides, the sun is bright this evening as I cross the park, getting my picture taken by the tourists, as I head down Rue de Grenelle. In my own world, I can still make out the petite old woman on the corner asking me where the Metro stop is. I take out my headphones and have a petite conversation with her in French. She was born in Italy but spent most of her life here in France, and is apparently still having an identity crisis. I guess it never gets better. She has the softest hands, she tells me I am so young, and asks me how old I think she is. I am nice and guess sixty, but she turns out to be nintey three. (Or I think anyway, nintey is a difficult word in French). I show her to the metro stop, and she gives me four kisses, as we say bon chance and part ways.
My walk continues through the sixth arrondissment, with chic shoe stores, and high school students on the sidewalk in leather skirts and boots smoking cigarettes. Soon, I have arrived at Rue de Guillame, where I turn left into the world of Science Po, an exclusive university in Paris. These students are in blazers with colorful scarfs and boots, glasses and having in depth conversations, while smoking. I make my way into the library to return a book and continue to a friend's tiny apartment on the seventh floor. After a twenty minute walk, the city has reenergized me, shown me old sites in a new way, and I am ready for a bon weekend.