A Little More Magic

It’s hard to capture the magic of Paris, although I tried a hundred and nine times. Here are some of those attempts.





Opéra Garnier



Ceiling detail from one of Paris’s covered passages


Detail from Daniel Buren sculpture at the Palais Royal


Detail from Jean-Michel Othoniel’s Kiosque des Noctambules at the entrance to the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre metro station






One of the Pension kitties, Félix


The other Pension kitty, captivated by Man Ray


Discussing research projects over crêpes in the Jardin des Tuilieres










There was a little magic waiting in London, too, once I managed to get here (there was a dicey moment at customs in Paris; turns out one should never mention the word “work” when trying to enter the United Kingdom). My birthday was yesterday. After several hours of class in the morning I went to meet my friend Meghan – of the suave Parisian lamp-post lean above – who is in London sorting out a visa for a project in Moscow. On the way to meet her for coffee I decided that I would have a celebratory glass of champagne instead, and once I announced these plans to Meghan and her friend Sara, we decided on a celebratory bottle. David Sedaris came up in conversation, and Sara mentioned that he was reading around the corner that evening, but that the event was sold out. She called anyway, and we were told that if we showed up and “were keen,” we might be able to get in. Not really knowing what that meant, we set off for Foyles, where a sour man at the front desk told us it wouldn’t be possible to attend the event. But he was on the first floor and the event was on the third, so we keenly ascended the stairs and, after asking someone else, were instructed to form a line right in front of David Sedaris, who was signing copies of his book. Evidently we were keen enough. After standing there for ten minutes we were invited to purchase tickets and got inside.


It was a perfect birthday surprise.

Tomorrow, a little more magic. This time, Harry Potter. As part of this fan studies/media tourism course, we’re going on a Harry Potter tour of London followed by the Warner Bros. London Studio Tour. The Night Bus (I wish) arrives for us early in the morning. And the magic continues.


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8 Responses to A Little More Magic

  1. Margaret says:

    Well, a perfectly pleasant birthday surprise!

  2. Michelle says:

    Happy birthday Billis! And thank you for the sophisticated new way to describe sneaking into places I don’t belong.

    • randasfans says:

      You are welcome; I’m always glad when we can learn from one another. You taught me how to be a pretty good samaritan, after all.

  3. ObserveClosely says:

    Outstanding photos, as usual. Suggestion: do you think you can similarly talk your way into Wimbledon by being “keen” and wearing an I Heart Andy Murray t-shirt? I think so! It’s worth a try.

    • randasfans says:

      Haha – I love the way you think, but something tells me it won’t matter how keen I appear, I’m not getting in that place.

  4. Happy, happy birthday!!! It looks like you are having a wonderful time! By the way, there’s a former Mad-Men-er in your group!

  5. Keri Cole says:

    Well, I bet he was just delighted to have you. I love his glasses!

  6. Pingback: Atelier Jacques Rémus | Randa's Fans

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