If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. -Ernest Hemingway
I’ve been on an adrenaline rush for about a week now. My sisters and I are taking are mom to Paris for her 60th birthday today! After months of planning and weeks of reading blogs and books, the reality has set in that we are indeed going to be in the city that so many artists, writers, and romantics adore.
Paris has always been alluring to my mom, since her days studying french as a young child in Vietnam. French culture has always remained a big influence on Vietnam, ever since the French colonized them. In fact, many Vietnamese went to Paris after the Vietnam War, in addition to America. I’m sure I’ll be bumping into many of my Vietnamese brothers and sisters in Paris.
Paris has always been alluring to my sisters and me because we grew up reading Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Stein-a few of the writers who formed the American expatriate circle of writers in 1920s Paris. We grew up with Monet hanging on our walls. We grew up appreciating the French baguette. We grew up hearing about Paris from our parents.
However, this trip is more importantly, our first mother and daughters, sister and sister trip together. And I can’t wait to soak in the sounds, the smells, and the sights-the moveable feast that is Paris.
I was unafraid, I was a boy, I was a tender age
melic in the naked, knew a lake and drew the lofts for page
hurdle all the waitings up, know it wasn’t wedded love
4 long minutes end and it was over it’d all be back
and the frost took up the eyes
pressed against the pane could see the veins and there was poison out
resting in a raze the inner claims I hadn’t breadth to shake
searching for an inner clout, may not take another bout
honey in the hale could fill the pales of loving less with vain
hon, it wasn’t yet the spring
aiming and it sunk and we were drunk and we had fleshed it out
nose up in the globes, you never know if you are passing out
no it wasn’t maiden-up, the falling or the faded luck
hung up in the ivory, both were climbing for a finer cause love can hardly leave the room with your heart
- From “Michicant” off of Bon Iver, Bon Iver by Bon Iver
There’s been a lot of talk of Bon Iver ever since he won Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards. I’ve actually been following Bon Iver well before he reached music mega-stardom. (Thank You to a friend that introduced me to “Flume” back in 2008.) My first Bon Iver concert was in December of 2008 at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston. He was a mere 3-person band back then? It was the first concert I had ever been to in which the audience was dead silent. When I say dead silent, I mean you could hear a needle drop. It was that intense and mesmerizing. Four years later, my good friend Phomdaen and I travelled to Montreal from Boston to see Bon Iver (photo above is taken with my iPhone at the Metropolis in Montreal). The 3-person band has now tripled in size, but has remained just as powerful and even more dynamic.
Bon Iver may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but no one can deny the talent: