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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

you take me up a beat

It's strange, I walk through this city dazed, one day after another, and then someone I know arrives and everything around me changes.

My oldest brother, Brendan, has spent the last four days with me, hearing my every breath and bad joke as we shared my miniscule apartment and pull out bed. "I knew it was going to be small," he said, "but not this small!"

It's been months since I've seen him but it could have been days. He looks great though, and is changing on more levels than one. He's inspired, taking a month off to sort out his life in the South of France, and there's a new energy radiating out of his skin.

He still knows all my pressure points. He knows how to dig his fingers into my arm in such a way that I scream and squirm, and how to make comments that will turn my dazed eyes into an icy glare. But he always apologizes after. And there's no way I can stay mad at him. It's impossible to stay mad at someone who loves you for who you are, and has since the day you were born. It's also impossible to stay mad at someone who insists on taking you out for dinners, drinks; even a concert.

We walked around a lot, the autumn air having turned to ice, our jackets zipped up and our arms trembling. But it's beautiful out. The leaves lie in large bunches on the sidewalks. People are holding hands. Everyone is wrapped up in large extravagant scarves and long black jackets. It's the Paris you see in black and white films. It's the Paris I'm falling in love with.

My brother wasn't interested in seeing Paris through the eyes of a tourist. Nor was he interested in seeing everything that is classical or romantic. He's a modern man, with an incredible eye for design and a taste for the finer things.

We visited all the great design stores Paris has to offer. I got to go to places I've never been before, discovering a young hip scene in Paris I'd like to dive deeper into. We ate up in Kong, in the top floor of a building, with it's designer chairs, trendy crowd and tasty cocktails. We visited Buddha Bar and it's dream-like set up. We went to Palais de Tokyo, a modern art museum open til midnight, where I discovered a perfect new place to go for great food, cool design books, and modern art exhibits. We went to go see Bloc Party, a young British rock group, with a charming black lead singer whos voice is practically addictive.

The four days awakened a part in me I'd forgotten about. I remembered my love for well designed clothing, graphic art and graffiti, live music, good food, and being in a hip scene with an invigorating young energy. Paris is beautiful for everything that was, but it's nice to escape to everything that is.

I said goodbye to my brother with groggy eyes this morning. I'll be seeing him around Christmas when I head down South to join my family.

I know that the second he walked out that door, my life reverted back to me being an anonymous au pair. But I've been spoiled and listened to these past days. I've seen more of the city. I've been cultured. And I've been shown how to turn up the volume in a city that's not only for romantics.

walking with my brother
Buddha Bar
John Galliano
Comme des Garcons
Palais de Tokyo
sweet temptations
wet street at night

A bientot Brendan.


Blogger tara dawn said...

Again, the beauty of your writing is mesmerizing. To be able to capture such animation and life with truly is a gift.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

You have no idea how much that means to me. Comments like this fuel me to continue writing.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

there isn't anything wrong with Romanticism, Gill, right? You write like a romantic... it's alright to live as one.

And your writing is, literally, awesome. You're disarming.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

You've got me there Josh...I am a romantic, and it shines through every tough front I've ever tried to put up. I was probably making reference to my strong headed brother, who has the sense and logic I never will.

And wow, disarming, another word I'm taken away with. I feel spoiled having it used in my name.

1:02 AM  
Blogger baylor said...

And these pictures, my friend...are they there simply to make me jealous?

It is working!!!

They are beautiful!


8:44 AM  
Blogger Electronsean said...

You know, the hip scene, though much more pretentious, might be more welcoming to a Canadian (I assume you are Canadian because of the Port Hope/Toronto connection) than the crusties you're working for. Do it up!! check out Blogotheque to find some sweet Paris parties!

3:18 PM  

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