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Unreasonable passion, irrational exuberance

Filtering by Category: Good things come in Paris

Things you wish you hadn't seen

Daniel Yudkin

Sometimes roaming the streets of Paris you see something that seems so ridiculous you figure it must be masking a deeper more important purpose. Take this photograph, for example, that I was able to quickly snap with my cell phone camera when I was in the park the other day.

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I'm Ashamed

Daniel Yudkin

I'm ashamed.  I'm embarrassed.  I've been suckered in and now there's no escape.  I find myself acting in ways deeply incongruous with my upbringing and personal life philosophy, and there's nothing I can do about it.  I partly blame this damn city, for casting this illusion of beauty over even the most unexpected things, and partly for my own attraction to glitter and shininess.

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Spit, spat, sput

Daniel Yudkin

Someone spat at me today.  It was my first time—and it wasn’t that bad!  Word is the pleasure only increases with time.  I decided it’s a pretty effective means of communication: the guy hardly said a word and yet his feelings were somehow very clearly conveyed.

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It's a love/hate relationship

Daniel Yudkin

Judging by Deedlometer tallies it appears that everyone loves it when bad stuff happens to me (thrown water-bottles, punches, spits, etc.).  So you readers may be thrilled to hear about yet another hardship I have undergone for the sake of maximizing the French cultural experience.  No, I'm not going to tell the story of why you can add three counts to the "Daniel got punched in the face" list because for some reason I thought it was a good idea to play the pacifist and kept trying to shake the hand of a drunk and hate-filled Pakistani who found out I was American on the street outside a bar late last night (true story).  Instead I'm going to tell you about the plumber in my building who finds my modest running regimen entirely inadequate--and lets me know it.

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Golden Years

Daniel Yudkin

So, maybe this is a little weird, but I have a minor fixation with....old men.  Whenever I’m walking in the park or down a small backstreet and discover a supreme little old-man hangout—I don’t know, something about it just brings out the deedle in me.  Perhaps it’s because they are the best living reminder of the same genuine Paris that comes out in the cobblestones nestled among cracks in the asphalt.  Their gestures, their camaraderie, their penchant for spending day after day utterly immersed in the same conversations and simple pastimes—all make me think one thing: these are the original bros.Looking at these people it’s strikingly clear that their mannerisms and their activities have all been transported, more or less perfectly intact, from a decade or a century or an era ago.  One of the most perfect examples of this is the daily drama that unfolds with high tension on the Boules court on the west side of Jardin de Luxembourg.  Boules is a game exactly like bocce—it involves throwing a tiny wooden ball (the cochon) onto an irregular dirt surface then competing in teams to get the heavy metal boules closest to it.  I came here recently on a chilly fall day and to watch the game.  It was every bit as thrilling as watching Olympic speed-skating.

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I don't have a problem

Daniel Yudkin

I live in fear.  I roam the city’s parks and gardens with the desperation of a marked man.  Each day brings with it new terrors, new clues, new uncertainties.  Any day now, any day, it could happen: it could be the last T-shirt day of the year. So I must capitalize, live each day like it’s my last!  Today I hopped on a Velib bike and went up to Park Monceau, the family park.  Here in the evening, before the warmth of the sun loses out to chilliness in the air, dads jog away the stress from the day, moms push strollers down gravelly paths, and West African nannies gather in groups to gossip while their little white quaffed charges ruin their perfect corduroy outfits in the mud or attempt with zero regard for landing place and the potential deadliness of their projectiles to knock chestnuts out of trees with toys and sticks.

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Channeling Hemingway

Daniel Yudkin

Here’s an SAT problem for you: over the weekend I got a call from a friend who was going to a house-party on Saturday night.  “I’ll be there!”  I said.

IF at 21h, I threw on 1 pair of pants, ran 400 meters to the corner-store, grabbed a 6-pack, got on the 8 train, transferred to the 1 at Concorde, went straight to address 11 near Bastille, rang the doorbell twice, opened the unlocked door on the 4th (top) floor of the apartment building, and took 3 steps into the room with the beer shouting “Wooo, Partayyy!”, how many sophisticated, well-dressed Thirty-somethings turned from their ors-d’oeuvres and stared at me, appalled? 

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First few days in Paris (plus a treatise against Uggs)

Daniel Yudkin

Well, I already made my first egregious error: I forgot to load up my duffel bag, as planned, with six months' supply of RedZone deodorant.  Now I’m faced with the choice of using Mennen UltraFresh stick (which clearly hasn’t changed its formula since the days of pomade and pocket-combs), or getting my parents to ship the supply in a cardboard box at fifteen bucks a pop. 

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