One sees Paris in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Yet Paris has a soul made up of it all; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related. We see Paris piece by piece, as the cafés, the bistros, the monuments, the parks, the people, the stories; but Paris is a whole, of which these are but parts. I make my way through Paris at random, it is too large, too grand, for me to presume to have a plan. In Gibert Jeune the other day I bought a copy of an Inspector Maigret story called “Maigret et le corps sans tête.” I related to the title, wandering plan-less in Paris as I do. All the action takes place along the Canal St Martin near rue de Recollets. Maigret spends most of a day in a café described as below street level alongside the canal. As I crossed over the Canal on the foot bridge by rue de Recollets I saw this: La Cantine de Quentin. I can see immediately that I am about to add more parts of Paris to my experience of her. I am disappointed to see a hand written sign on the door: “Complete” meaning the restaurant is full. I look in the window and by chance catch the eye of the owner. He flashes me ten fingers so we sit at one of the outside tables and wait. 20 minutes later we are seated in a corner near the window where I can see the foot bridge over the canal. The food is excellent, the wine perfect. The windows fog over from the inner warmth. I make eye contact with the next table, a brief nod tells me we are sharing the poetry of Paris.