It’s springtime in Paris and I have something to confess (although the fact that I feel the need to dub it a confession makes me sad). I’ve been in Paris for almost 10 days and have only been to one museum (no, it wasn’t the Louvre). And, due to societal expectations that when in Paris, you go to museums, I feel guilty about that.
But I don’t want to go to museums.
Instead, I want to leisurely flâneur about, hang out with the French in outdoor cafés, look for the best foodstuffs I can find and revel in the superior urban planning and architecture, rather than seek out the best paintings, tapestries, or sculptures. And watch all the people. The beautiful, ugly, wonderful, horrible, stupid, smart, magnificent, never-endingly fascinating people.
So why should I feel guilty? Is not living a fine art? Is not the rhythm of the city and the choreography of the streets as complex and beguiling as the Mona Lisa? Is not the Eiffel Tower a sculpture formed of metal, blood, sweat, and tears; the Luxembourg Gardens a thousand paintings brushed with strokes of flora, fauna, and light? Is not the city itself a museum, each neighborhood its own exhibit, and each one of us an author of our own unique tableau? A tableau that we paint as we go, on the canvas which is our city, for all the flâneurs to see.