Sunday, January 9, 2011

What's new, Metz?

The biggest change in Metz since we left in June is that the refurbishment of the Place de la République, the city's largest public square, is complete. Indeed, the dedication ceremony took place the day before we arrived. The Pompidou Center-Metz continues to attract crowds; we met a group from Nîmes who had come up for a couple of days, with the new museum as the anchor site for their trip. The holiday lights on some of the streets have been updated, and the Christmas markets have expanded into the Place de la République itself, after having been pushed to the sidelines by the renovation. There were new exhibits at both the city and departmental archives. The cathedral's tower is still being renovated, with years to go, I think. The Saint Martin church near our apartment is now being renovated, too. Not surprisingly because we'd only been away since June, most of Metz seemed to be pretty much as we'd left it.

Because the
holiday decorations are up and the Christmas market had started, I had the feeling of completing a cycle of seasons. These were nearly the sights that greeted Susie and me when we arrived for the first time in December of 2009. The sellers of patisseries displayed seasonal treats, like large chocolate figures of Saint Nicolas of Metz. They also displayed the usual, electrifying choice of cakes, pastries, cookies and other desserts, which seemed as vivid in real life as in my envious recollections back in El Paso.

Georgia Tech Lorraine continues to thrive. We missed the 20th-anniversary celebration, which brought in dignitaries from far and wide. We did have a chance to see my colleagues from the staff and to have dinner with some of my faculty colleagues. The students I'd taught had left for Atlanta, though. I still occasionally hear from some of them via e-mail, I'm glad to say.

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