From Elaine’s Lumière column for T Magazine’s The Moment
Jugetsudo, a Japanese tea shop in Paris.
Megumi Ibusuki poured the cool liquid from an iron pot into a squat glass. She placed it, gently, on a square of striped raw silk set in a dark wood square tray. She urged me to sniff the aroma and observe the liquid’s color before I brought the glass to my lips. The liquid — the palest celadon — tasted like, well, Mount Fuji evanescence. I was sitting in a boutique on one of the chicest corners of Paris’s Sixth Arrondissement, at the bottom of the rue de Seine, across the street from Gérard Mulot, the luxury traiteur. But spiritually, I was in Japan.
The bell tower in Ars-en-Ré on Île de Ré, France.
One August morning years ago, there was a knock on the door of the small, 19th-century stone house in Ars-en-Ré that my husband, Andy, and I had rented for vacation. There, alongside a bicycle laced with rust, stood a silver-haired man, elegantly dressed in a faded rose-colored linen shirt and long khaki Bermuda shorts. He had come looking for the owners, who were his — and our — friends from Paris. His name was Hubert.
“Monsieur, perhaps you don’t recognize me, but I’m your upstairs neighbor in our building in Paris,” Andy said.