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Monday, September 3, 2007

Trip to Paris clouded by passport dilemma that nearly caused cancellation of trip. Passport expires on day of return and passport valid for 3 months required to enter France. In phone call to American Embassy in Paris, official said, “There’s nothing I can do for you. But if they do let you in, I’d love to arrange a cocktail party for you.”

Decided to take chances, and after days of angoisse and apprehension, went to Logan Sunday night. No one blinked. Crawled onto plane (many years since flying in a 747, and had forgotten how simultaneously roomy and claustrophobic this particular plane can be) and slept 5 hours straight. In Paris, customs official barely glanced at passport. Headed for train to city but was turned back by machine gun-wielding security officer. Being a narcissist, assumed naturally it was passport-related. But no, merely bombs going off or threatened to go off.

Staying in perfectly spare, newly renovated studio in Montmartre, courtesy of B and F. Views of courtyard and former residence of George Sand. Birds in the late afternoon. B knows every secret garden and mews in Paris, and so evening stroll through private streets and hidden mansions. Lots of small hotels converted from former brothels. Hotel Amour, former whorehouse and now uber-trendy hangout of Sofia Coppola and her ilk. Still, rooms reaonsable and, best of all, avaiable by the half day.

Lyon tomorrow on TGV for first avant-premiere du film and my first viewing of same. Posters for film all over Paris. Some talk of possible box office success. Even so, will have to call American Embassy and take up offer of cocktail party. Need to cover as many meals as possible since dollar is so tragically weak.

Posted by Stephen @ 07:02 PM EST

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