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Paint Fox, Iris yellow background (Read 4489 times)
Nov 21st, 2004 at 6:52am

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Makawao,  Maui, USA, HI

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"97.2" was left growing out of his otherwise shaved head; Saturday is hairdo day in the quartier Gare du Nord.

Blair and I went to the neighborhood in search of an inexpensive bed cover.  In our little Paris apartment, the bed is in the same room as the dining table, and we are ever trying to make the bed look like a sofa.

I ordered a Weber barbecue online this week for cooking our Thanksgiving turkey.  Plus a bag of charcoal.  Our oven can only accomodate an 8-10 pound bird.

Whenever we drive to Gare du Nord to catch the Eurostar, I admire the sparkly and colorful garb in this district.  The streets are pierced with passages selling Indian spices and Caribbean foods, inexpensive clothing and bright shawls.  So this Saturday we took the number 38 bus in that general direction.

Thanksgiving is our best American holiday.  No gifts.  It recognizes the contribution of immigrants to the shores of the United States.  Thanksgiving is not a holiday in France.

On a parallel street, one block over [the little arch de triumph sits there], the pavement was chock full of dark haired men smoking and visiting.  And the hairdressers:  hand lettered signs advertising all sorts of cuts and hair attachments.  I was tempted by the navy blue ponytail.

The hair salons were full of whole families having their hair done.  It was impossible to move inside the shop, and the children sat on mothers' laps as the scissors snipped.   One woman came out nearly shaved, save for a few hairs sprouting on top:  a coconut, Blair proclaimed.

It is possible to buy synthetic suits for just 70 Euros and a not-half-bad winter coat for 35.   In the land of high and trendy fashion, this seemed the ticket for the non-couture pocketbook.  I felt completely out of pace in my down vest and red boots.

Blair and I had notoriously happy Thanksgivings with his [late] uncle Bill in Portland.  These evolved from equally memorable Thanksgivings with Blair’s grandmother.   I remember the first year I cooked at Bill’s:  the only things in the cupboards were Scotch and cigars.  Afterward, we discovered his store of canned goods from around the world -- in the closet beneath the stairs.  An avid world traveler, he used to bring me mince pies from England and Turkish cigars.

We walked around the station to the street with the Indian sarees.   Beads and braids, silks and chiffons, in jewel-like colors hung inside the windows.  A fine Indian dress, replete with bangles and pearls, might cost 300 Euros.  A saree, one meter by two meters long, from 15 to 150 Euros.  Unfortunately not large enough to cover the bed in our dining room.

Blair's Uncle was the only person I ever felt safe with.  He had the right blend of street smarts and confidence.  We could visit Bill and our worries would be miles away.  I've never found anyone like him since.

Bananas hanging from the branch were sold in the vegetable stands, beside crunchy Indian potato chips in cellophane packages.  It is here we can buy affordable saffron, to use with abandon.

Bill loved the passages and  boutiques around Gare du Nord.  He'd buy silk shirts there, and come home with a story to tell over a big glass of scotch.

After an hour and a half of the bubbling Gare du Nord scene we boarded the bus for home, alongside the man with the 97.2 hair.

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER

website:  http://www.paintfox.com ;    acrylic painting on linen  11 x 16.5 inches
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