Friday, June 26, 2009

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

The United States of America versus Brazil
Final of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
Johannesburg, South Africa
Sunday, June 28
2:30 PM EST

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Benedict Arnold. Meet Giuseppe Rossi.

This picture (via The Offside Rules) provides a pretty decent summary of my reaction to the U.S. national team's 3-1 loss to Italy today. The vicious traitor pictured above, the New Jersey born and raised striker Giuseppe Rossi, dropped two goals in the second half of the U.S-Italy match to bury his country of birth (Rossi spurned the U.S. team to play for Italy, his father's native country).

A bogus red card to Rico Clark in 1st half left the US with little chance of winning and despite scoring first thanks to a great effort by Jozy Altidore to draw a PK, Rossi managed one incredible shot, Daniele De Rossi (the same man who elbowed Brian McBride in the face in 2006) beat Tim Howard later in the half, and the villain of the night Rossi hit the jugular in stoppage time to send the azzurri to victory (and reignite my hatred of the Italian national team).

Before the match, I thought if Rossi scored against the U.S. he might not celebrate. Maybe a solitary fist pump, but out of deference for the country that raised him he'd jog back to the half way line and keep playing. This is not what happened. With arms raised Rossi slapped his country of birth across the face with an overzealous celebration and stomped on all the Americans who had defended him and pulled for him throughout his career. Sure anyone would be thrilled to score a goal in a major soccer tournament, but to draw blood and then twist the knife in the sides of U.S. soccer fans was cruel and I thought Rossi should have shown more respect to the country that accepted him and his family.

The match was a part of the Confederation's Cup being contested now in South Africa. A perfect tune-up to the 2010 World Cup, check out the US take on Kaka and Brazil on Thursday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Real World

After 12 hours of flying, connections, and a very, very cold Serbian woman (long story that involved multiple sweaters, a neck pillow, and a mummified, blanketed sleeping position), I'm home.

Had Mexican food last night and went to bed at 9 pm. No grand cultural observations from this writer just yet. Trying not to extrapolate scenes from the Mexican restaurant and the airport into general platitudes about Americans being louder, fatter, and more obnoxious than I remembered. Trying not to do this is difficult.

In all honesty, it does feel odd to be home and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet. If only their was some form of cultural half-way house over the Atlantic where I could acclimate into an American again.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Moveable Feast, Part II

It only seems fitting that an updated version of A Moveable Feast has been published this Spring. The book that for so long colored and filled my perceptions of Paris with sepia toned photographs of 1920s nostalgia has been given a face lift: new stories and vignettes added to complete and to illuminate the often biased picture the original book gives of Paris, its literary community, and Hem's family themselves.

And why this all seems fitting -- as you know by now -- is that I have just completed my first stint in the same city that became Hemingway's adopted home and I have taken away my own stories and perceptions of a place so far gone from that literary ideal and still so alive in hundreds of other ways that I'd never seen or expected before as if some hazy introduction has been stitched together from nights and mornings and cafés and classrooms.

So at this time, I'd like to thank everyone who has read the blog and stayed in touch with me since January. As much as I've learned about Paris and its and corners and dives, I've learned about myself and what I want to do with the rest of my life and this blog and writing to all of you back home or wherever you may be has played a major role (if not the most important role) in this awareness. You are as much a part of this blog as I am and Paris as much a part of you as it is of me.

I'm sad to be leaving and it's a shame that now, when for the first time in several months I feel at ease here, my time is up. But as Hemingway said better than I ever will:

There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and your received return for whatever your brought to it. But this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.

So once again. Thank You.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wine Belly

I'm finally done with classes. This is very good news for the weather has turned gorgeous and I can spend every waking moment outside. Just spent the day picnicking in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Built by Napoléon III in the 19th century, he designed the man-made park to replicate Hyde Park in London (where, in exile, he had spent his childhood).

Unlike the Luxembourg Gardens, you can sit anywhere you please in the thick and matted grass. Today's a national holiday in France so throngs of Parisians sat on blankets eating and drinking away from the tourists crowded down on Ile de la Cité.

Going to go for a run to work off my wine belly. Enjoy the photos from a few street fairs I've seen of late and have a good week.