Ah, Paris.

Bonjour! It’s 5 am in Paris. It’s a lovely 60 degrees outside, and I’m still slightly jet-lagged, so I sit at the open window, listening to the sounds of the city at night. This is my first time in Europe, and so far, it has been image parfaite, picture perfect. I often think of big cities as being dirty, with too many high-rise buildings and not enough greenery. Most of the cities I’ve been to–Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Vancouver, Seattle–have fit this description. Non Paris.

Everything here speaks of culture and heritage. The buildings are centuries–not decades–old. Balconies are made of carefully-shaped wrought iron. Flower boxes decorate the sides of the buildings, adding color and life. The architecture is grand and curving. Only a few blocks away from our hotel is the Notre Dame Cathedral, which has stood there for 850 years. It’s impressive to walk by, let alone enter.

Of course, I don’t have to say anything about the food. Crêpes, sorbets, chocolats, pâtisseries. You could eat your way into oblivion before lunchtime.

What is is that makes a city special? Of course there is still ugliness–trash on the streets, drunks lying out on the sidewalk, people smoking everywhere. But the beauty and history here are astounding, and help to hide the downsides of masses living in one small area.

They say that Paris is a romantic city, le ville de l’amour, and I’m inclined to agree. Perhaps because it’s the first European city I’ve ever visited, I’ve fallen in love with Paris first. Il est merveilleux d’être ici. Look that one up yourself.

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3 thoughts on “Ah, Paris.

  1. so excited for you to get to experience this marvelous city, and happy to read about your observations. I’ve been there twice. Got to go to the ballet at the Opera house (classical ballet has a universal language, so it didn’t matter that I couldn’t read the program very well – Swan Lake is Swan Lake in any language). Got to sing a in a choir concert in Notre Dame – THAT was an amazing experience. Rode the Metro, and had no problems navigating the city that way. The best croissants ever – oh what fun for you. Have a wonderful time and keep posting!!

  2. Paris is such a beautiful city. I have had the privilege of visiting several times and each time I discover something new that I love about it. The first time, at eighteen years old, I was profoundly struck by the city lit up at night. I was on a trip alone that year and would go out for a walk wherever I was at dusk and I remember the lights coming on and voila a different Paris emerged. The last time I was there, I visited Ste.Chapelle and was struck by the stories and images depicted in the stained glass as well as the way it is shoehorned in amongst modern public buildings. Paris is a city that never disappoints, and since it is my 16 year old daughters favorite, I plan to visit with her again really soon! Have a great time and keep posting!

  3. Oh my goodness you are amazing! You are able to find the beauty in everything and your writing style is so captivating! I love this post!!

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