Why do the rooftops of Paris go straight to my heart? What do you think it is? Do they touch you the same way? As I sit here writing, I am looking across my desk at a print of Caillebotte's Rooftops in the Snow. I look at it often when I'm not in Paris. It makes me long to be there and I often wonder why that is so. Perhaps it is the way it stirs my imagination. These romantic rooftops are, after all, garrets. Windows and chimney's of small, cold cramped spaces with six or even seven flights of stairs to climb. Behind those windows live, in my imagination, all the characters from all the Paris stories I've ever read. The starving the artists, poets, and students – characters in a play that I now can only watch – reminding me of the hopes of youth. Love gained and love lost. And yet it is more than that. The structures themselves, each independent, rough and oddly shaped fit together in a pattern that radiates life. Each rooftop, built at a different time, of different materials, fits in with its neighbors in a cozy sort of way. Here and there are rooftop gardens, in my imagination lovingly tended by an older person, quiet and settled into a life with time for such things. Now there's a play with a part for me! Yes, that must be it – to see in all those little windows the various ways one can be alive in this city, to see that it all somehow fits together in a beautiful image. As I was making this image I could believe that this scene was first painted by an artist from imagination and the final tableau used by the workmen to build the actual roofs.