Tuesday, October 7, 2008

St Maurice, France

Le Ville de St Maurice (Val de Marne, France) is SE of Paris's 12th arrondissement. We stayed with friends in this quiet Parisian suburb for about four weeks last spring, helping to organize their library's research holdings on Peace and Anabaptist Studies. The small town is charming because although it is perhaps 30 minutes from the center of Paris, it is remarkably different from the capital city in architecture, economic status, culture and ambition. Rather, it seems to be a lovely place to raise children, to take peaceful walks, to participate in local culture (rather than be only onlookers) and live at a slightly slower pace. Most private gardens are hidden from public view, but we are occasionally granted glimpses of the fruits of years of labour. Some houses are decorated with gingerbread, one roof has a wonderfully useful permanent ladder for the chimney sweep, I suspect the stork hasn't moved in years, and motor scooters park anywhere.