I put up posters for every art exhibition I saw: a fat ballerina from the Botero show at the Musée Maillol, the Lady and the Unicorn from the Cluny, a Rubens nude from the big retrospective at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Lille. And charts that look as though they were made for kids, showing the kings of France and the history of this extraordinary country from 125 B.C. to the Fifth Republic.
That reminds me: It was a very good thing to have read "Seven Ages of Paris," by Alistair Horne, before I got here. Required reading for all lovers of the City of Light. Not that I retained much, but it seems to have grounded me in a historical sense.
So now, on an overcast Saturday afternoon, I'm in my apartment, feeling at home.
I remember what the owner of a Montmartre apartment I almost rented, a French teacher, said to me: In a new place, with imperfect language skills, you don't just not know how to speak. You don't know how to be. I'll be frank. I came to Paris -- but it could have been Hong Kong or Rome -- for just that kind of dislocation. That opportunity to start all over. For an American woman of a certain age, with entrenched habits and opinions, is it possible? We shall see.