I would never have thought relocating to Paris would bring me closer to Hollywood. But when you’re living under the roof of an international movie producer who’s film Call Me By Your Name got nominated for 3 Oscars, I suppose this is what happens.
This is how Paris got me closer to Hollywood.
Via a trip to northern Italy.
Musing of a glass-box exterior with last bits of L’As du Falafel in our hands, me and my friend whom I’ll call Cheddar strolled outside a hidden garden in the Marais to wrap around street-side to find the bookshop La Mouette Rieuse. With tall ceilings accommodating towering shelves of brightly colored books, we trodded to the back of the book shop to take café crèmes in a glass box coffee shop. With an Italian barista serving us cheery cups of milky coffee (smiley face sugar packets included), Cheddar and I pondered the difference between café crèmes and café au laits. I prompted this spectacle in staring down at my own café crème. The kind barista joined in.
“Café au lait is more of a filtered coffee with added milk,” she adjusted her glasses. “Café crème is rather espresso-based with added milk.”
I sipped my espresso-based drink with added milk. “Mhmm,” I replied thoughtfully.
“And what do you prefer,” Cheddar leaned forward with her espresso-based cup with added milk. “Do you like French or Italian coffee more?”
The Italian barista blushed shyly, “Well, I am from Italy…”
We sipped our café crèmes, all slyly leaving it at that.
But speaking of Italy… that’s where the film Call Me By Your Name takes place. In a sleepy northern Italian town, cast by a sun-drenched lake, sun-soaked villa, and sunny-wearing handsome lovers. Now again, I’m living in Paris, but somehow I didn’t feel like I was in Paris anymore. I was somewhere lost in a memory that was never mine, hot and perspiring by a pool I didn’t own, and eating juicy ripe peaches in an orchard I’ve never seen. Basically, I felt like I was in the movie itself, moved to tears and smiles through a love story that wasn’t mine but resonated as if it was. To say it frankly, I never felt closer to northern Italy than I had before.
Taking up extra babysitting duties while my babysitting family folks crossed the globe to Los Angeles, eagerly awaiting Oscar news for Best Picture, Best Actor (for Timothée Chalamet), and Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, it too didn’t completely feel like I was just in Paris anymore. I surely felt partially, or at least mentally, in a Hollywood mindset too.
Sitting in the glass box at La Mouette Rieuse, I felt I was a little bit of everywhere. But stealing a sip of my café crème, I let myself be in a northern Italy state of mind.
La Mouette Rieuse, 17bis Rue Pavée, 75004 – Wifi
*Cheddar is a nickname intended for the anonymity of this blog