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Prix Fixe

Posted on 1 min read

Every time I come to Paris, it’s different. More approachable. Friendlier. Is it because I have more money? It’s like New York in that way. Manhattan felt untenable in my 20’s: hard to traverse, too expensive, too old. Paris was worse. And now, for the most part, my interactions are patient and connected.  The people seem happy. Their English is better than where I live in Germany, and the French language easier to get my hands around than German. As long as we avoid the main sights during tourist hours, it’s so livable that I forget that it’s Paris. I like how it feels here. …

Henri

Posted on 2 min read

Oppéde is a somewhat modern French town close to the villa. It’s less beautiful than the other impossibly beautiful small towns in the area (Gordes, Ménerbes, Roussillon), probably because it is more recent. A run-off of people who descended from the hillside after “Old Oppéde” began to dissolve a hundred years ago. We start off early and hike up the hillside into Old Oppéde, knowing that it is a “ghost town”, but little else. What I discover is probably the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It’s not actually a ghost town, but it was at one time, and what does remain is mostly ruins. The only homes that …

Soft

Posted on 2 min read

I get to the villa in the Luberon region of Provence late on Monday after a horrific crisscrossing of Germany, Belgium and France. France is once again one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. In the past it has been Paris (obviously) and rural Bordeaux. Now it is the small villages stretching east of Avignon. The compound is built around a vineyard outside of Oppéde, below the ghost town of “Old Oppéde” that sits visible in the hillside. And what strikes me beyond even the undisputable beauty, is how little I have to say about it. It’s not because I find it uninspiring. I just can’t believe …

Glasgow, First Impressions

Posted on 2 min read

The young Scotsmen waiting to board their flights all have the same haircut: buzzed on the sides, cropped short to middle length on the top. It’s jarring only in its mass coordination, as if an entire demographic decided to replicate a specific footballer. The officer working passport control is friendly and chats with me about his trips to Minneapolis.   “Welcome to balmy Scotland,” he says, as he hands the passport back to me. The taxi drive into Glasgow is shockingly colorless. And it’s only after I’m dropped off at my hotel and I explore on foot that I begin to get a feel for the place. All the buildings …

Leaving

Posted on 1 min read

Despite my best efforts, the anxiety is still real every time I leave Germany. The morning starts like normal: my daughter waking me up and watching Curious George on the laptop while I drift in and out of sleep for 45 minutes. And then we play and eat breakfast, and there’s nothing at that point. But as the day continues, the ache in my chest telling me there’s something wrong (even when there’s nothing wrong), slowly starts to creep in. It grows despite my best efforts to ignore it, starve it to death, so that by the time I’m dropping off my daughter at her mother’s, I’m manic and I …

Evolution of Place

Posted on 2 min read

I like to think that the evolution of Germany for me over the past three years, is like a microcosm of my human experience. What started as an antagonistic place that I tolerated (at best) in order to be with my daughter, has become a place of recovery. It’s a strange place to get clean, but that’s what it’s become for me: I eat well, work out regularly, write, and meditate. And that’s only the time that I don’t spend with my daughter. When I first started coming here, I would leave as a husk of a person. I was mentally and physically demolished, and it took weeks to readjust …