I flew to France a few days prior to the start of my summer job so I could visit Trouville-Deauville, a station-balnéaire, or sea-side resort that has been super-chic since the 19th century. The railway made it an easy journey from Paris for the wealthy and the rising middle-class. One of those holiday-makers was Claude Monet who stayed there in 1870. He painted several depictions of the beach resort, including the one above that I recently saw at the Wadsworth Atheneum.
I thought it would be fun to try to find the same view when I was there, but I didn’t really expect to see it. Around the corner from my Trouville hotel was the boardwalk. As I strolled along it on my first evening in Trouville, I kept an eye out for the turreted building. And there it was. Some of the buildings alongside it appear to be the same as well. Even the clouds seem to be the same. The only major differences are that the boardwalk used to be much closer to the houses and the green steps are now white. The big building with the flags in Monet’s painting was the hotel Les Roches Noires (The Black Rocks) whose prior residents included authors Marcel Proust and Marguerite Duras. It’s still there, but now it’s divided into apartments. The word that came to my mind in Trouville-Deauville was intemporel (an-tehm-por-el), or timeless.