I have the wonderful privilege of spending a month in Paris! I adore this city. I think of it as a quaint NY without subtitles. My french is shotty at best but somehow I manage to get by. I smile a lot and say many "Pardons" and "S'il Vous Plaîts".
Things I love about Paris:
Sorry I've been away so long! ~taryn xx
The Cafe's: There's one on every block and not only can you, but it is absolutely acceptable to sit in one, all day if you so choose, whether you have a 5 course meal, or only order a coffee.
The Drinking Policy: No one even so much as gives you a second look if you have a glass of wine (or 2!) in the afternoon. This custom is not exclusive to tourists or people on vacation. The French often have wine with lunch and then head back to work. My kind of city.
The Women: French women are just sexy. I am not only talking about the young lolita types ie: Ludivine Sagnier (meow) but women well into their 60's and 70's are hot. They dress with such style, carry themselves with poise and have this overall air of beauty and confidence. Of course this is not indicative of all french women but I tell you, even the saucy street women have some of that "Je ne sais quoi".
The Food: The first time I ever came to Paris I remember being so tickled that people really do buy their bread fresh everyday and walk home nibbling their baguettes. Even the crepes from street vendors taste divine. Most important, things spoil! With out all the indecipherable chemicals and preservatives most things are quite fresh. You go to your local Fromagerie and Boucherie to buy things to be eaten that day or soon thereafter.
The Lay of the Land: I am staying in the 6th Arrondissement and parts of the Church on Saint Germain Boulevard have been there since the 6th Century. There is a true respect for historic architecture and culture here. Being from the United States where every time I return home something has been knocked down and rebuilt into something unrecognizable this is a welcoming rarity. Most buildings have amazing balconies spilling over with ivy and potted plants and every corner you turn there is a well cared for public garden/park. The colors here are beautiful as well. I often find myself walking around and becoming transfixed on the shade of blue on an apartment door or the subtle muted red of a random sign.
The People: Now I know I will get some crinkled noses at this one but, I simply adore the French! They're tough in a way I find understandable and even charming. It's true, they do make you work for their affections. In any shop/restaurant or tabac you must convey politeness and respect. With out it you get the cold shoulder but with a little genuine kindness and an attempt at the language (for me at this point it really is still just an attempt) they warm up like fondue. Being from NY I am used to this sort of attitude and you can call me a glutton for punishment but I love it!
The Language: Admit it every thing sounds better in French, it just does.
I have been here a little over a week and I find myself enjoying the most mundane things. Going to the grocery, buying the paper, sitting and having coffee. I feel like I am in a wonderfully romantic film. Granted I may be over romanticizing it a bit, but darn it I just can't help it, and it feels as though the city it self is encouraging me to do so.
I LOVE my NY. I miss it dearly and will be so happy to return home when it is time, but in the interim I am going to relish in this marvelous affair!