Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Bucket List Revisited

Back in September, I wrote about my Paris bucket list, the things I wanted to be sure to get done before leaving Paris.  And as we enter the home stretch, I figured it was time to take a look back and see just how I'm doing. 

It starts well enough:

Explore the neighborhood around the Canal St. Martin.

Go to the Musee Delacroix.

Go see a play at the Comédie-Française, but read it (in French) ahead of time.

Check out the hype about Spring. Technically, this shouldn't be crossed off but I have reservations for the 15th, so let's just consider it done.

Invest in one or two classic accessories or items of clothing that, while hopefully not screaming "Paris!", will be something I will cherish wearing for a long long time. I've got a chocolate brown suede jacket from Monoprix and a Hermes bangle (a going away present from friends) that I'm going to enjoy for many years. And what a combo!

Visit (and take non flash photos) of a favorite turn of the century lithograph at the Musee d'Orsay. I've been to the Musee d'Orsay twice this year. At the moment, the place is under massive renovation with many galleries closed and works of art rearranged. And the one piece I was most interested in? It's in storage until the end of July.

And then things go a bit south:

Eat lunch at Frenchie. Frenchie has become so successful that they don't even serve lunch anymore. As for getting a dinner reservation at this point, I can just forget it. Do I care? Not really. I've eaten quite enough recently!

Attend a ballet at the Palais Garnier. FAIL. It's next to impossible to get ballet tickets. I should have tried to get tickets for May back in September. At least I've been inside the Opera House and seen that lovely Chagall ceiling.

Take the candlelight tour of Vaux le Vicomte. This one requires a car and with the number of weekends left until we depart, I don't think it's going to happen. But how many chateaux have I visited in four years? I can't even begin to count them all.

Go to a concert at Sainte Chapelle. This could theoretically still happen. What's more, this is the perfect time of year since the concerts are held in the evening and it's still light now until almost 10 o'clock and one could appreciate the light coming through those amazing stained glass windows while appreciating the music.

And the bottom line?

Although I only managed to check off six out of ten items on this list, what strikes me is not what's left undone but a sense that the list itself is irrelevant.  First of all, completing the list wouldn't make it any easier to cut the cord with Paris.  If I had done them all, could I honestly say, " I did it.  My Paris experience is complete."  That question gets a big fat "no" for an answer.  And secondly, it's not as if I didn't get around to doing these things because I was sitting on the couch watching TV.  I feel good about how I've used my time and the experiences I've had.

Am I rationalizing?  Probably.  Does it matter? Not a bit.


Ann said...

The concerts in Sainte-Chapelle are magical. I heard Vivaldi/Four Seasons with my parents, with the stained glass lit by the glow of early evening, and it was perfection.

Paris will always be here for you, Anne!

Paulita said...

What a great list and you've accomplished so many of them. You can be like Frank Sinatra, "Regrets.. I've had a few..."
I agree the Sainte Chapelle concerts are fabulous. Go when you need to calm yourself from worry.

Lisa said...

I will miss you being in Paris as much as you will miss being in Paris. Enjoy your last weeks and treasure the fact that you embraced your time in Paris!

Sweet Freak said...

I'm actually really impressed with everything you've checked off your list. And I agree - some stuff you simply won't get to, and it's better to just let it go. I told myself it was a good justification for returning to Paris in the future.

How are you and your daughter doing on the sweets front??

Anne said...

Amy: We're doing about as well on the sweets front as with the other stuff. For example, last weekend's run to the Marais for falafel didn't exactly leave much room for chocolate truffles after!

Starman said...

Some people seem to be suffering from conflicting memories. You cannot see the stained glass windows during a concert at Sainte-Chapelle, because the concert is on the ground floor and the windows are in the upper chapel. But the concerts are worth attending on their own.

ARA said...

I think its pretty awesome that you crossed off six things in your list. But most of all it's great that you got to stay in Paris for so long. I mean anyone would like to stay in paris for just 37 days that you have left. So I don't think you are rationalizing ... its all irrelevant but what is worth it is the experience

Shelli said...

If you're willing to wait in line for a possible ticket to the ballet, there are often returns or unused house seats on the night of the performance at Opera Garnier. Get there about 5:30 and bring a book.

Last time I did this I got 2nd row seats to a great performance. The last seats, I should add and we were about 12th in line, so it's far from a sure thing and maybe not a good choice of how to spend your final Paris days.

Anne said...

Thanks for the tip, Shelli.

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