Monday, September 5, 2011
Smitten with Paris
For the last two years, I've been wondering where a native New Yorker could possibly move to after growing up in a city as diverse, full of culture and a never-ending source of inspiration and stimulation. What place could possibly compare and hold my heart and attention for as long as my city has? For as much frustration and stress as it gives me, I also recognize that I'll be hard-pressed to find another city that could hold a candle to the Empire State.
And then I returned to the City of Light.
Somewhere along the line I had concluded that if I were to move (and I so want to experience life outside of NYC), it'd have to be to San Francisco or Barcelona. Mind you I'd never even been to either place (until now for the latter), but based on others' recounts of their times in both cities, I'd deemed them as great places with a young and fun vibe as well as a hub of creative culture - exactly where I want to be.
How could nine years have erased so much of what France meant to me on my first visit? On this trip I wanted to get to know the city I only experienced on a whirlwind weekend tour. I was able to live la vie Parisienne if only for four days in an apartment for our own. We strolled the winding streets of Montmarte and caught my breathe when the Eiffel Tower suddenly appeared around the corner of the museums on Torcadéro. And those were just the touristic highlights.
There were so many moments spent admiring the details of the buildings around us, the attention in the balconies' ironwork, the grey-slated roofs, how everyone lines their windows with flowers. If there was an inviting patch of grass, we sat on it: on the hill leading up to Sacre Coeur, in the Jardin des Tuileries, a make-shift picnic in front of the Louvre. Our café chats quickly turned into discussions about the "what ifs" and "hows" surrounding my sudden wish to move to Paris as well as the exciting new projects I'll be tackling once I returned home. Then we'd sit back and watch the city go about its routines around us.