Alysa Salzberg

Alysa Salzberg
Paris, France
December 31
Writer, copy editor, translator, travel planner. Head servant to my cat.
A reader, a writer, a fingernail biter, a cat person, a traveller, a cookie inhaler, an immigrant, a dreamer. …And now, self-employed! If you like my blog and if you're looking for sparkling writing, painstaking proofreading, nimble French-English translation, or personalized travel planning, feel free to check out


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DECEMBER 3, 2012 9:10AM

This new place

Rate: 11 Flag



La grande roue (image source

From our window in this new place, we can see the top half of the Grande Roue in the Jardin des Tuileries.  Far off, lit white every night, shining like an archway of diamonds or stars. 

I remember riding it with you, one night a few months after we met.  Afraid of heights, I still took your hand and got into a seat.  The rise to the summit was slower and less shaky than I’d thought it would be.  

What a view at the top, with the the Sacre Coeur to our right, like a small souvenir sculpture on a shelf.  When we looked down or outward in any direction, we could see all the lights of Paris.  We could see forever.

What stays in my memory is not just these sights, but this accomplishment.  I don’t know if I could go back on the Grande Roue.  I think I’d be too afraid, despite knowing it would be all right, despite knowing about the view.

Tonight when I return home, you tell me I look beautiful.  The autumn wind has reddened my cheeks.  My hair falls just so on my shoulders – “The perfect length!” you exclaim.  Your eyes are shining in the new apartment’s dim light.

And then there’s dinner to make and the cat’s visit with the vet to discuss.  A pot of boiling water overflows and I hurry to turn off the stove.  Your happiness is the flickering lamp in the living room.  “Maybe you looked beautiful before because you weren’t stressed,” you remark.

Your words hurt more than boiling water. They well up from something I can’t fix so easily as turning a switch.  

Late that night, I wake up and walk over to the window.  I gaze across the rooftops, to where I can see the top half of the Grande Roue in the Jardin des Tuileries.


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Hi guys, I hope you're all doing well. Life has been stressful and very busy this past week and a half; we moved out of our apartment for about a month, because it had to be remodeled/renovated. We're living in a vacation apartment rental, but that's the only "vacation"-like thing about it - the stress and seemingly endless list of things to do go on. I'm sorry I haven't been around as much as I'd like - I miss reading you all!
Alysa.. this was wonderful and keep writing as that is what I am doing to stay sane
Relationships aren't always easy. And neither is moving!

My daughters didn't do the Ferris Wheel there, but they tried the thing that you sit in chairs that are hung from the top and the thing rises up and then spins around - terrifying! They thought it only went half the way up so that's why they tried it and lo and behold, they wuz wrong - but, as you say, the view is to die for.
'Far off, lit white every night, shining like an archway of diamonds or stars.'

Apropos swoon.

Brilliantly lit creative nonfiction: way way up and way down...

Alysa, that's a wonderful story and thanks for checking in to say "hello." Best of luck with the work being performed on your apartment and related activities!
A lovely flow to your words. I seem to remember that when the Roue was built, it was only supposed to run for the summer or a few months. Everyone was worried that the Roue was too heavy for the Place de la Concorde. Like it would fall through the ground. Nice to see it's still there. The view from the top is gorgeous.
Loved ones thoughtless remarks cut the deepest, don't they? My husband might say a similar thing, with a false-sounding "I was only teasing" as rejoinder.
Do we all have those?
I like how you blended your day with the ferris wheel experience at the beginning of your relationship.
Change makes it all tougher, especially a temporary situation for living in...everything out of place...
"where is that...?"
May the ride together grow more smooth, the view from the top circle around soon ~
You craft this with the perfect amount of angst. Well done. As to the movements now in your life, this too shall pass.