August 11 – Cambridge Writers’ Workshop in Paris!

M. Marié drove us to the Liancourt-Rantigny station early in the morning, while the fog still clung to the base of the trees. We were on our way to Paris, city of lights, for a day of exploration and inspiration.

The train ride rattled by in a green blur of passing landscape until we arrived in Paris. The gardens of the Medici palace are swarming with people soaking in the sun after a recent spat of rain, relaxed in green metal chairs on the carefully manicured gravel walkways. Children pushed colorful toy yachts across a fountain, yelling to each other and their parents as the boats skimmed across the water.

We made out way to a small crepe stand outside the garden, enjoying the hot food prepared by John, who showed us his favorite trick over and over again – cutting a banana furiously while staring us in the eye, never missing or making a mistake. After enjoying our food, we went to a cafe for drinks and a character sketch writing exercise. The cafe cat watched the passersby and us with mild curiosity, tolerating pets and attention.

From there, the flea market was an explosion of colors and accents, men with knockoff designer sunglasses following crowds headed towards the stalls with, pardon! pardon! Clothes printed with slightly incorrect English slogans hung in stalls next to assortments of hookah pipes and cheap jewelry. Inside, antique furniture competed for attention – glass tables supported by golden scorpions, lacquered benches, delicate side tables with spindled legs, and fainting couches were set up in mock arrangements, no seat please printed on papers propped on the couches and chairs.

Upstairs, books with crumbling spines and magazines housed in plastic slips competed on rickety tables and bookshelves. Clothing hung in colored rows, shop keepers chatting to each other, and to the artists sandwiched between them.

After the market, we headed back into the heart of Paris to eat dinner at Les Fêtes Galantes. The restaurant only held a few tables, and we were greeted by the wife of the chef. The walls were plastered in pictures and notes left by guests, and one wall even held a few sets of lingerie. The food was unbelievable and perfectly cooked – an excellent way to end a day in Paris.

– Megan Tilley, CWW Editing & Communications Intern

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  1. Pingback: Cambridge Writers’ Workshop 2014 Yoga & Writing Retreat at the Château de Verderonne | Rita Banerjee

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