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Luxembourg Gardens
June 4, 2000

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At the heart of Luxembourg Gardens rests a large, still pond, perfect for sailing toy boats. You may have noticed it in the Madeleine books, sitting in front of the Palais du Luxembourg. For about $1, you can rent not so much a sailing boat as a stick with which to shove it away from the pond's concrete edge. The boats themselves stay in the pond all day, but you may rent a numbered stick, which corresponds to a numbered miniature sloop, and sail it for an hour or so, returning the stick to the man at the stand when you've had enough.

Also on this page, you can see Ellie caught in a one-woman conspiracy to gather up all the toys in a large sandbox on the southern edge of the Place de Vosges. Other children soon raise a protest, and I had to force Ellie to relinquish her booty. As an aside, this Place de Vosges, in the Marais District on the Right Bank, is built on the spot where King Henry II was killed in a jousting tournament in 1559. (This is the same Henry, by the way, portrayed as a young Prince Henry by Dougray Scott in Drew Barrymore's masterpiece, "Ever After" (1998).) I didn't think it necessary to mention this to Ellie, or to the other children -- though it weighed heavily on my mind that afternoon.

Further down, Em and I at a sidewalk table in front of our favorite bar in Paris, the Polly Magoo. (Note: Closed down, alas, in June 2001, a year after this shot was taken.) The image below is the profile of St. Severin's church at dusk, the view from our table.