Day 22–A Meandering Sunday

Up betimes, at least at 8:30 here.

Sandy went for a run in Le Jardin, I went to the gym and afterwards, as it’s a cool, overcast day, we spent the morning reading and listening to Bach. He certainly could pen a tune.

We had lunch at a  local café, Le Nemrod, 51 rue du Cherche-Midi (depuis 1897),, and went to Angelina for a chocolat chaud. Then we checked out a film, La Fille du RER (“Girl on a Train”), a pretty engaging movie which we understood (Sandy better than I) fairly well. There is a cinema event of sorts here for the next few days. All films are 3,50 euros which is comparatively inexpensive, even with my (hard-to-believe, at least for me) senior’s discount.

Walking around, it occurred to me, not for the first time, that living here is like living in a monument or large piece of art or sculpture. Whatever else, cities like Paris have preserved their heritage whereas, by-and-large, North American cities have not. Before I hear via email that it’s an unfair comparison, given how old European and Asian cities are, Toronto is 200+ years’ old (John Greaves Simcoe established York in 1793). If I recall, Sir William Campbell was Chief Justice around the 1830s and we have preserved his home as part of our cultural heritage, meagre as that might be. What’s worse, of course, is that in the interests of commercial progress, we have destroyed irretrievable parts of our urban aesthetic. Even dopey and eviscerated American cities like Milwaukee had the good sense to ensure an attractive and user-friendly waterfront, with a gorgeous art museum at the end of it. What did we do with ours? Let it become overrun with ugly condos, destroying both its our enjoyment and its utility. Even worse, the execrable Gardiner Expressway. Anyway, enough ranting.

After dinner chez nous, we watched 30 Rock and called it a day. “Only a light bulb can go out every night and come up shining the next day.” (Alfred E. Neuman)