The only true paradise is the one we've lost and regained. I sit on the balcony with the pale early spring sun on my bare skin as the first bee of the season in this northern city hovers in front of my face, drawn by christopher’s lavender perhaps, all the way from the park threading along the nearby canal with its ducks and swans,
which I can see from here as I look out over the wide gritty avenue, at the gigantic mural on the side of the ex red brick factory across the empty lot where a muscular old lady in a parka watches her rottweiler nosing around gently in the unkempt grass and a lone sapling stretches a silvery crown of leaves towards the sky,
and rickety vintage café tables spill out onto the sidewalks which are interspersed at regular intervals with thickets of parked bicycles, across the street the age-old rock and roll club spells Lido in cursive blue
and it’s all as seamless and specific, as familiar and serene to me as Avenue C, as though I never left, or had just this moment returned, and I go very quiet as I listen to the city's heart, which is glamorous and louche as suzanne would say, also radical and mellow, welcoming and courageous, transgressive and civilized, and it's beating so very close to me, something special indeed.