Many Goodbyes from Paris, 1928.
Still humming Let’s Misbehave, Mona watches as another celebrity friend waves goodbye from the last car of the Blue train leaving Gare du Nord on its Paris-Marseille run.
Draped in her warm evening coat, Mona will return to her flat near the Jardin de Luxembourg after she stops for a choucroute garnie at La Rotonde.
Mona longs to soak in a luxurious lavender scented bubble bath in the comfort of her home. And then, she will catch up on much needed sleep.
The elegant soirées she has attended of late have drained her of her youthful energy.
Legendary Paris Parties
Only a few hours ago, Mona was enjoying the frenetic jazz scene in her favourite club.
At the Jockey, a Paris music box, Mona sipped absinthe while eavesdropping on conversations.
In one corner, Captain Charles de Gaulle is listening to André Citroën, who is arguing the merits of the Cloverleaf 5HP.
Meanwhile, Helena Rubinstein with bobbed hair, carmine lips, and low-waisted shimmering dress is coyly flirting with Ernest Hemingway.
Well-known cultural icons frequent the party scene
The French dilettante now recognizes many of the regulars.
Salvador Dali and Picasso are engaged in a lively discussion at the bar.
T.S Eliot, George Gershwin, and F. Scott Fitzgerald have joined a group of American expats where the booze is flowing freely and the conversation is increasingly animated.
Cole Porter hosts elegant parties
In the early hours of the morning, the party continues at Cole Porter’s well-appointed apartment on Rue Pigale.
Josephine Baker, darling of the Folies Bergères, spurred on by the crowd, belts out a few songs and then regales the guests with tales of her outrageous naked dancing.
Cole himself entertains everyone with songs and scandalous lyrics from his Paris musical.
“In shallow shoals English soles do it/
Goldfish in privacy of bowls do it.”
Afterwards, just as dawn is breaking, Porter’s wife, Linda, instructs the maid to prepare a platter of croissants and viandes froides to be served with cappuccino.
As the winter sun begins to lighten the steely blue skies, the bleary-eyed revellers bid each other au revoir or adieu.
Mona will bid goodbye many times to other flotsam and jetsam from around the world come to Paris to experience these extraordinary times.
Going back to another era
I love this time period.
Wouldn't you have loved to have been in any of the Paris clubs frequented in the 1920s by all these cultural icons?
If you could live in another time and place, where and when would it be?
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All photographs from Pexels.com.