Our US furniture was unworthy of being shipped to Paris. I had to start over.
For the first time, I was able to shop slowly and chose things I liked instead of deciding which Ikea sofa went with our garage-sale end tables. I scoured flea markets and furniture stores. I consulted Parisians and expats. Our shipment of American household goods (books, pictures, one piano, one armchair, and one coffee table) arrived months after we got the apartment. Therefore, I didn’t feel truly at home for a long time. I still felt like we were in an Airbnb and somebody was going to tell us to get out. Now it’s just about finished, and feeling more like home.
When I checked the listing of concerts in Paris last weekend, one caught my eye: Rachmaninoff’s first piano concerto and Stravinsky’sRite of Spring, in a big echo-y cathedral. Rachmaninoff is big and splashy and thrilling and swoony and if an orchestra and a pianist and a venue all agree that it can happen, it’s worth my time. TheRite of Spring premiered here in 1913 and caused quite a stir, and I was ready for the grotesque juxtaposition of music which depicts human sacrifice performed in a church.
I first visited the UK as a child. My older sister had moved there, and my mother and I went to visit her. Being from Texas, I was raised knowing that I lived in the best place on earth, so it was a shock to go to another country and see that they had interesting people, delicious food, green grass, castles, bookstores, cool accents, and men wearing skirts. It shook me to my core. Then I embraced it, and I was changed.
Eastern Christians: 2000 Year of History. This exhibition at the Arab World Institute in Paris features art and artifacts from the Turkey to Iran and traces the history of the part of Christianity that we in the West tend to forget about.