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on reflections in the glass

The senses deceive from time to time, and it is prudent never to trust wholly those who have deceived us even once.  –Rene Descartes

On the other hand, movies are inherently constructions, with the capacity to fabricate. “Blow Out” has already lied to us by opening with an elaborate fake-out: a sequence from the point of view of a slasher stalking coeds that turns out to be a film within the film.  –“Don’t Get What Makes Brian De Palma an Auteur? Try These Two Films,” New York Times

Serious thought or consideration: he doesn’t get much time for reflection. An idea about something, especially one that is written down or expressed: reflections on human destiny and art.  –Reflection

The act of reflecting, as in casting back a light or heat, mirroring, or giving back or showing an image; the state of being reflected in this way. An image; representation; counterpart.  –Reflection

When my days pass, each one I recognize. My neighborhood seems the same, more or less. My routines change but the days appear the same. I reflect back, and I am sometimes not sure which day was which.

I have seen a word in the context of a text and looked again; it was not the word I had seen, or thought I had seen. Somehow my mind had suggested one word, but I discovered a second or two later that it was not the actual word on the page. I saw the word “excellent,” for example, but on the page was “excitement.”

Once, the name “Sherlock,” as in Sherlock Holmes, seemed odd, truly impossible as a name. “Holmes” was all right. That seemed correct. But “Sherlock” was alien. It was if I had never heard the word before. I have been reading the “Adventure of Sherlock Holmes” stories since I was a kid.

I remember when the clever Perry Mason pulled into court a look-alike of his client to test a witness’s veracity. In another case, a witness did not divulge that she wore glasses when she saw the suspect commit the crime.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!

on the waterfronts of wheeler & astoria

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.  ―Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Friday, 22 January 2021. On the road again.

The Oregon coast is dotted with small towns and unincorporated communities. While driving US Route 101 one comes often upon clusters of homes, maybe with a store nearby, probably not, probably no filling station either.

These are small, quiet communities. Some are far enough away from larger towns with stores and gas stations; they have not attracted the city folks, those Portlanders and those California-types, who might be looking for a beach house.

Before heading further north to Astoria, I stopped in Wheeler. It is not large–Wheeler–but it does have two hotels, which makes it big. On the west side, in the middle of Wheeler, there is a rest stop that offers views of the Nehalem Bay, Neahkahnie Mountain, and the river estuary.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!

on winter trees in northwest portland, oregon

Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light.  —Ernest Hemingway

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.  —Anton Chekhov

Once upon a time I lived in a two story house on the beach in a small community called Tierra del Mar, Oregon. I spent most of my time on the second floor, where a large window faced the ocean, looking out and marveling at my good fortune. Later, I hardly noticed the view. It was like the wall paper in the room. I did not pay any attention to it either.

Sometimes the weather changed dramatically and a storm welled up and bashed the coast. I took notice then. Or, maybe the sky cleared for a change and the sun would slowly descend in a glorious moment. We have seen them, even though it may have been in a photograph.

Portland is home and so is France. It has been a long time since I passed a winter in Portland. Normally, it would be on the coast in Antibes, a small coastal town between Cannes and Nice in southern France.

I have passed so many winters in Antibes that I ignore the Mediterranean Sea when I walk into town and then back again to the apartment at the Plage de la Salis.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!

on finding the perfect restaurant in france

When I am in France, I eat lunch in a restaurant every day. I am in France six months each year. One can easily do the math. That makes 180 days each year in France, eating in restaurants 180 times each year.

Many restaurants new to me come to my attention while walking through neighborhoods. I have learned to assess a restaurant by its cover: that is, from the ardoise outside that lists the menu for that day with its prices and the suggestions; by the decor that I can see through the windows; and whether there are many people seated or if there are people waiting.

Most tourists traveling to France do not have the luxury to wander the streets like a flâneur before choosing some place to eat. Time is precious. The trip to Paris is a dream come true after all, and the restaurant should live up to that special experience.

Not too long ago, I was interviewed by Annie for the podcast Join Us in France Travel Podcast. We talked in “How to eat like a local in France, Episode 286” about how to find good restaurants in France. We asked: “How can one choose a restaurant without walking the neighborhoods? Is there a way to plan in advance for a visit to a restaurant?” But wait, there’s more!