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NBP: The Mailbox of Notre Dame- An American in Paris 3

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NBP: The Mailbox of Notre Dame- An American in Paris 3  Reply with quote  

chris wrote:
The Mailbox of Notre Dame- An American in Paris 3
August 17th, 2009

For those of you who are following my French adventure, and trying to learn from my mistakes, let me give you tip. France is far. If you donít live in California, itís probably not quite as far, but for me, itís far. Like far enough that I completely left Friday and most of Saturday in the sky somewhere, and even after spending much of Sunday looking at statues and buying stinky cheese, the lying was only just getting started on Meet the Press and ABCís What Kind of Tree Do You Want to BE with George Stephanopoulos.


The back of Notre Dame, morning 8/17/09

So, I walked around Notre Dame Saturday evening, and there was a huge crowd there, and priests with flags and incense and whatnot because it was the Assumption, which I guess is a huge deal if youíre Catholic, but Iím not, so Iím not sure what it is. I assume itís about Jesus and Mary, and for all I know, thatís how the holiday got itís nameÖ

ďPope Petey, we need another three day weekend in August, what should we do a holiday for?Ē

ďWell, I assume about Mary or Jesus, like most of our other holidays.Ē

And Cardinal Mookie was all, ďHey, thatís a pretty good assumption.Ē

And the Pope was like: Dominus Omis Arabica Palmolive Cadabra (Which is Latin for: ďMake it so, Number One.Ē) So there you go.

Anyway, there are a lot of people at Notre Dame on holidays. Fucking ghost town Sunday morning, but Saturday night, itís like Blow-Job Day at the ball park. (Which is to say, popular.) One of the books Iím reading, one on architecture, says the best time to look at Notre Dame is on Sunday, during mass, because no one is around. (Like the day after Blowjob Day at the ballpark, when fans realize that the baseball wasnít really the best part of the day.)

But any other time, thereís a metric buttload of people outside of Notre Dame, milling around and looking at the stories on the walls, which were kind of the summer blockbusters of the Middle Ages, since most of the churchgoers were illiterate, so they could only enjoy James Patterson books, and even he was only writing three or four a year back then, and film hadnít been invented yet.


Heres a Medieval Blockbuster Movie from the frieze at Notre Dame.


Saint Matilde -- Patron Saint of People Who Don't Know Their Hat Size

So, Iím in Paris, living in an apartment thatís about a hundred yards from the Notre Dame, in the very same building as the hunchback. Iím not kidding. I havenít heard him going up and down the steps, but hereís a picture of the mail boxes.


The Address of the Hunchback

Uh huh. Uh huh. Thatís what Iím saying. And Esmeralda lives in a totally different apartment, so apparently that didnít work out.


Esmerelda in New Digs after Kicking Quasi to the Curb

She got a little sanctuary and kicked a hunchback to the curb, so Quasimodo is back to riding the titillating tintinnabulation of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells. (And if you havenít seen Charles Lawton giving the dong to the ding to the dong, in the 1939 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, itís worth your time.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7oGGP0BWYE

Having an awful time embedding the video. Just play and jump in about 7 minutes to watch Quasi get freaky with the bells, bells, bells.

So, anyway, Iím living in this apartment in this building that seems pretty old, although not as old as the Isle de Cite, where itís located. This island in the middle of the Seine river is where the city of Paris began around 250 BC when some guys looked at the island and said, ďThis would be an awesome place from which to defend our stinky cheese.Ē Now itís the center of the city as well as the geographic center of France. (Thereís a plaque and everything). At one point the royal palaise where the King lived was on the island along with the Notre Dame, so it was the spiritual as well as the governmental center of France. Since then, the Kings have moved their palaces down the river bank, further and further away, as it occurred to them that being in the center of a giant city with no sewer system wasnít as swell as they thought, (The Louvre was originally built as a royal residence) until finally, in 1692, King Louis VIII moved everything out to Versailles, ten miles west of the city.

But today, you canít throw a stick in Paris withouthitting a palaise. Something you should know, if itís called a palaise, itís not necessarily a palace, and if itís called a hotel, itís probably not a hotel. Many of the giant houses that were built by the wealthy in the Marais (the Right bank of the Seine Ė I ísplain later)are called ďhotelsĒ and while they are now museums or apartment buildings, theyíre still called hotels.

Hereís a sign directing you to Hotel Dieu, or HOTEL OF GOD Ė go ahead, steal the towels, see that picture above, with the guys being led by demons? They stole the towels. Also, directions to the Place Parvis, which means, the park where your dog can get parvo virus. Iím pretty sure


Go ahead, make my deus, steal the towels...

This is a picture of the Hotel De Ville, or Hotel of the Town. Itís more or less, Paris City Hall, and you definitely canít get a room here.


The Hotel Deville - Not a hotel at all.

So this post is taking ridiculously long to finish, so Iíll save some stuff for next time,when weíll explore crusty French bread, stinky cheese, a visit to the mannaquin store, and the secret smiles of rodents, but let me leave you with a statue which sits in the gardens outside the Louvre.


Venus Touching a Puppet's Junk

Until next time, Adieu!

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