Posts tagged 04/25/2013
Anti-Charm

One of my advisors in graduate school was Polish, a survivor of World War II.  On the way to immigrating to the United States, he passed by and resided in several countries including the Netherlands and France.  When I was living in Aix-en-Provence, taking a sabbatical year in France that would lead to my spending many more years in that country, he visited and stayed in the rented apartment of a mutual American professor friend in town.  I remember visiting the apartment. It was one of those places described as having “du charm” on vacation rental websites. This means that it was built a couple of hundred years ago and that the kitchen sink was a sort of flat slab of marble with a shallow basin in the middle.  The electricity was wired in the 1930s.  The shutters were warped and closed with difficulty, and the façade of the building had not been resurfaced for decades, further adding to “le charm.”

Read More