Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

One night on the Ile Saint-Louis

It’s interesting how life throws you a curve ball and at first you’re stunned, then you just go with it. I had different plans this weekend, but when I found out that I had to find a place to stay in Paris on Friday night, I decided to treat myself to a nice hotel on Ile Saint-Louis. Many years ago, I had a friend who had an apartment on the île (island). I loved the area and have always dreamed of living in an apartment on the île.

The Ile Saint-Louis has always fascinated me. It has such a different feel from any other area in Paris. Every time I am on the île, I feel a sense of tranquility that comes over me. The last time my mother came to Paris, we stayed on the île as well, so I have very fond memories of it.

One thing that I always do when I come to the Ile Saint-Louis is pay homage to Camille Claudel, a French sculptor who was Rodin’s muse, pupil, and eventually lover. It was her last place of residence before she was committed to an insane asylum.

The île is a treasure in Paris because the Siene flows around it and it is right behind the the Ile de la Cité where Notre Dame is located. It’s touristy, of course, but it certainly has a peaceful feel to it as well.

Tomorrow I go to an apartment in the 7th arrondissement (district) next to the Eiffel Tower. I enjoy that area the most because it’s great for running and convenient for me to commute to work. I have stayed in a few different arrondissements, but I always go back to the 7th. It just suits me best for my work life. If I were to come here to write, I would definitely stay on the Ile Saint-Louis.

In the end, I’m happy about the curve ball I was thrown because I have enjoyed my first night on Ile Saint-Louis where I have so many fond memories and can indulge in the tranquility of a different part of Paris.

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