For in Paris, whenever God puts a pretty woman there (the streets), the Devil, in reply, immediately puts a fool to keep her.
When Hitler marched across the RhineTo take the land of France,La dame de fer decided,‘Let’s make the tyrant dance.’Let him take the land and city,The hills and every flower,One thing he will never have,The elegant Eiffel Tower.The French cut the cables,The elevators stood still,‘If he wants to reach the top,Let him walk it, if he will.’The invaders hung a swastikaThe largest ever seen.But a fresh breeze blewAnd away it flew,Never more to be seen.They hung up a second mark,Smaller than the first,But a patriot climbedWith a thought in mind:‘Never your duty shirk.’Up the iron ladyHe stealthily made his way,Hanging the bright tricolour,He heroically saved the day.Then, for some strange reason,A mystery to this day,Hitler never climbed the tower,On the ground he had to stay.At last he ordered she be razedDown to a twisted pile.A futile attack, for still she standsBeaming her metallic smile.
Il était tard; ainsi qu'une médaille neuveLa pleine lune s'étalait,Et la solennité de la nuit, comme un fleuveSur Paris dormant ruisselait.
I've seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.
People wonder why so many writers come to live in Paris. I’ve been living ten years in Paris and the answer seems simple to me: because it’s the best place to pick ideas. Just like Italy, Spain.. or Iran are the best places to pick saffron. If you want to pick opium poppies you go to Burma or South-East Asia. And if you want to pick novel ideas, you go to Paris.
In Paris, where raillery is so quick to throw emotion out the window, silence, in a roomful of clever people after a story, is the most flattering of all marks of success
By nature independent, gay, even exuberant, seductively responsive and given to those spontaneous sallies that sparkle in the conversation of certain daughters of Paris who seem to have inhaled since childhood the pungent breath of the boulevards laden with the nightly laughter of audiences leaving theaters, Madame de Burne's five years of bondage had nonetheless endowed her with a singular timidity which mingled oddly with her youthful mettle, a great fear of saying too much, of going to far, along with a fierce yearning for emancipation and a firm resolve never again to compromise her freedom.
The people that I liked and had not met went to the big cafes because they were lost in them and no one noticed them and they could be alone in them and be together.
Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disres
Paris has history, it has art, it has wonderful architecture, it has literature, but much more important than all these, it has freedom! If a city cannot offer freedom to its dwellers, all its other beauties will be meaningless!
The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American. Military, naval, legal, corporate, criminal, jazz, rap and ghetto discourses are mingled at every turn. The French language, like Paris, has attempted, through its Academy, to retain its purity, to fight the advancing tides of Franglais and international prefabrication. English, by comparison, is a shameless whore.
Goddammit! How does the world keep spinning with women on the planet?Ian St. John in THE POMPEII SCROLL
Had you but seen it, I promise you, your high-minded principles would have melted like candle wax. Never would you have wished such beauty away.
Certainly there were places of greater natural beauty—but Paris but UNNATURAL beauty, which was arguably better.' - The Runaway Queen (The Bane Chronicles, 2) by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
God, he was so beautiful. It was the tragic kind of beauty too, the kind you knew was doomed from the start. A face that launched a thousand ships and dug a million graves.
To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.
The hours tick by as I lie in bed.Memories keep surfacing, tormenting me into unbelievable sadness. I can't bring myself to move. I can't fight the memories that keep filling my thoughts. I stay curled in the fetal position as each memory plays out. I can't stop them from coming. I can't make them go away. Nothing can distract me. I can't block the memories, so they continue to come.
I'm being pulled under - father and farther from the surface. My lungs continue to scream for air. Panic is building inside me, threatening to combust. I can't break free.Help! I can't break free!I open my mouth to scream.
One of his hands move away from my face to flatten against my back, pulling me closer to him as he deepens the kiss. He parts my lips under his as my mind seems to sign quietly in content. I kiss him back as fiercely as he kisses me, unable to control the infatuation that rushes through me - feeling almost like fireworks. Not so careful anymore.Little shivers of urgency shoot through me. I push off the window, pressing closer to him. The rush of sensation that is coursing through me feels like I've drunk a gallon of coffee. It feels like an electric buzz is flooding between us.
Night has settled over Paris.The streets have cleared of the crowds, and the city has been lit up. I set my book down, deciding to go for a walk. The Eiffel Tower is only a few blocks away. Now that there aren't many people out, I can walk there without having to fight my way through mobs of gawking tourists.
He drinks his coffee tentatively, glancing at me every few seconds, watching me. Every time he glances in my direction, I quickly turn away though he obviously knows I'm watching him. I know he's wondering why I'm staring at him, but he doesn't ask.I finally take a sip of coffee, set the mug back on the table, and voice what's on my mind, I want to draw you.
He stares at me—taking me in—with his lips slightly parted. I struggle to hold myself in place as we gawk at each other. I want so desperately to run, but something is holding me back, keeping me in place.
I freeze, my feet suddenly glued to the floor. It takes me a minute to gather the courage to turn around, but when I do, I immediately wish I hadn't. The boy is standing in the doorway at the end of the hall.Why is he here again? I barely allow myself time to ask the question before I move. Panicked, I turn and run back downstairs as fast as I can.Hey! Wait! he calls after me.I don't stop.
I grab the nearest lamppost when my knees threaten to give out, panting for breath as the words rip through me
I take in all the colorful locks that line the bridge. Each one told a story. Each lock represented a relationship that was once special, whether it ended or turned into true happiness. The locks represented a past, present, and a possible future.
When we step onto the bridge, Nathan turns and spreads his arms out wide. ‘Welcome to Pont des Arts, a.k.a. The Lock Bridge.
He smirks, shaking his head and letting his eyes wander. I watch him carefully, wondering what I can say to get him to leave. “I’m not leaving until you answer some questions. Plus, I’m holding your sketchbook hostage, so you might want to cooperate.” I raise an eyebrow at him. I guess there isn’t much I can say. “This isn’t a hostage negotiation.” He chuckles half-heartedly as his eyes take me in, almost sizing me up. “I guess I should introduce myself.” He holds a hand out for me to shake. “I’m Nathan.” I stare at his hand for a moment. “Taylor,” I reply, meeting his eyes again without taking his hand. He lets his hand fall back to his side. “At least I got you to say something non-hostile.” “I haven’t been hostile,” I object. His eyebrows shoot up. “Oh, haven’t you?” “Why don’t you leave me alone?” I snap. “Leave and don’t come back.” I move passed him, heading for my apartment. He can’t follow and annoy me if I lock the door. “Where are you going?” he demands. I look back over my shoulder and roll my eyes at him, indicating the answer should be obvious: anywhere he isn’t. Once inside, I slam the door behind me. “That was totally not hostile!” he calls after me, sarcastically. I quickly head for my bedroom door, slamming it, too.
Paris, however―because of her purely fortuitous beauty, because of the old things which have become a part of her, because of her entanglement of buildings and tenements―Paris yields herself in discovery as an attic beloved in our childhood gave up its secrets.
He insisted on clearing the table, and again devoted himself to his game of patience: piecing together the map of Paris, the bits of which he’d stuffed into the pocket of his raincoat, folded up any old how.I helped him.Then he asked me, straight out, ‘What would you say was the true centre of Paris?’I was taken aback, wrong-footed. I thought this knowledge was part of a whole body of very rarefied and secret lore. Playing for time, I said, ‘The starting point of France’s roads . . . the brass plate on the parvis of Notre-Dame.’He gave me a withering look.‘Do you take for me a sap?’The centre of Paris, a spiral with four centres, each completely self-contained, independent of the other three. But you don’t reveal this to just anybody. I suppose - I hope - it was in complete good faith that Alexandre Arnoux mentioned the lamp behind the apse of St-Germain-l’Auxerrois. I wouldn’t have created that precedent. My turn now to let the children play with the lock.‘The centre, as you must be thinking of it, is the well of St-Julien-le-Pauvre. The “Well of Truth” as it’s been known since the eleventh century.’He was delighted. I’d delivered. He said, ‘You know, you and I could do great things together. It’s a pity I’m already “beyond redemption”, even at this very moment.’His unhibited display of brotherly affection was of childlike spontaneity. But he was still pursuing his line of thought: he dashed out to the nearby stationery shop and came back with a little basic pair of compasses made of tin.‘Look. The Vieux-Chene, the Well. The Well, the Arbre-a-Liege On either side of the Seine, adhering closely to the line he’d drawn, the age-old tavern signs were at pretty much the same distance from the magic well.‘Well, now, you see, it’s always been the case that whenever something bad happens at the Vieux-Chene, a month later — a lunar month, that is, just twenty-eight days — the same thing happens at old La Frite’s place, but less serious. A kind of repeat performance. An echoThen he listed, and pointed out on the map, the most notable of those key sites whose power he or his friends had experienced.In conclusion he said, ‘I’m the biggest swindler there is, I’m prepared to be swindled myself, that’s fair enough. But not just anywhere. There are places where, if you lie, or think ill, it’s Paris you disrespect. And that upsets me. That’s when I lose my cool: I hit back. It’s as if that’s what I was there for.
The ‘Oberge des Mailletz’ is by far the oldest tavern of which any record can found in the City archives. In 1292, Adam des Mailletz, inn-keeper, paid a tithe of 18 sous and 6 deniers.This we learn from the Tax Register of the period. At the time it was founded, the Trois-Mailletz was the meeting place of masons, who under the supervision of Jehan de Chelles, carved out of white stone the biblical characters destined to grace the north and south choirs of Notre-Dame. Underneath the building, there are two floors of superimposed cellars: the deeper ones date from the Gallo-Roman period. What remains of the instruments of torture found in the cellars of the Petit-Châtelet have been housed here, along with some other restored objects.A modest bar counter, a long-haired patron who bizarrely manages never to be freshly shaven or downright bearded. A stove in the middle of the shabby room; simple straightforward folk, less drunk than at Rue de Bièvre, and less dirty. Just what we needed.
Lend your ear then to this tutti of steeples; diffuse over the whole the buzz of half a million of human beings, the eternal murmur of the river, the infinite piping of the wind, the grave and distant quartet of the four forests placed like immense organs on the four hills of the horizon; soften down, as with a demi-tint, all that is too shrill and too harsh in the central mass of sound, and say if you know any thing in the world more rich, more gladdening, more dazzling than that tumult of bells; than that furnace of music; than those ten thousand brazen tones breathed all at once from flutes of stone three hundred feet high; than that city which is but one orchestra; than that symphony rushing and roaring like a tempest.