It’s a gorgeous sunny warm day here in Paris–long overdue, after a solid week of clouds and rain. I’ve spent today so far mostly sitting in the Parc Montsouris (right across from the Cité Universitaire) and wandering the antiques market that’s set up shop on Boulevard Jourdan. Saturday is a lovely day in Paris, because everybody is out and about. From where I was sitting in the park (pictures forthcoming!), I could see a man leading a little boy on a pony, a little girl climbing a statue, and people giving tango lessons under a pavilion, to say nothing of about thirty different picnics and people sitting outside at the Pavillon Montsouris enjoying leisurely lunches.
This is an installment in the park. Apparently, in 2006, this artist put recording devices under some of the benches that were activated when somebody sat down. He then took recordings of declarations of love in various languages and compiled them, and now when you walk past the benches you can hear this whispering voice (actually, I believe the French for that is chuchoter). Unsettling and beautiful.
“Tom Paine, not Sam Paine!” Yes, this is Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense, The Age of Reason and The Rights of Man–and what’s really depressing is that I know that because of this:
Anyway. Moving right along.