03 July 2007

Paris, je t'aime

{Jessica and I at Musée Jacquemart André}

Maybe Paris has a way of making people forget.

Paris? No. Not this city. It's too real and too beautiful to ever let you forget anything.

- An American in Paris, 1951

Well, a week has passed since I first arrived in Paris, land of legendary art, cigar smoke, and crispy bagettes; staying in an apartment with mum and Jess. I don't care what people say, Paris is my favourite European city – there is no substitute.

The last few days were spent meandering through several Paris neighbourhoods: the Marais, the Rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré, the Palais Royale, rue Saint-Michel. It's so funny because everything here is such a beautiful cliché, you feel like you're walking around a French film set.

We visited the restored Museé de l'Orangerie to see the Monet waterlilies in their original home, and yesterday enjoyed baguettes with brie on the not-so-sunny lawns in Jardin du Luxemborg, but, mostly, we've shopped as if we were engaged in a kind of sociological study of French customs and style. We have rendezvoused with family friends in the 6e and visited the Sorbonne with them, and discovered some fantastic new restaurants in the 1em. Mum and Jess were looking for Napoleonic era antiques, which gave me time to explore some of the markets (discovering a human skeleton and a stuffed two headed sheep, eek!). Each day has ended with complete exhaustion, and it was nice to simply gaze across the seine from Pont Neuf as the sun sets around 10pm.

{Fontaine de Medicis, designed in 1624, in the Jardin du Luxembourg}

{Confections at Gerard Mulot}


{I went to this flower shop when wandering around the 5e, specializes in bouquets that are organized by scent rather than by colour.}

{Antiques and taxidermy at the Clignancourt markets}

{at the Sobonne}

{Jessica at Hotel Costes}

The most alluring thing about Paris isn't just its incredible elegance and die hard fashion, ladurée macaroons, or even the never ending history and customs that ooze out of the wide 19th century boulevards and crooked medieval lanes. I think, contrary to whatever others may think, that Paris is so authentic, that's why I love it here. Intelligence is revered, independence is respected and passion is considered essential. Like most great cities it reveals itself with a myriad of surprises, but in an atmosphere that makes you feel like what you're doing is substantial. Day after day the city unfurls itself, exposing even more prodigious possibilities in life than any other place I've been to yet.

Today was my last full day here, perhaps I'll come back in a few weeks, unless I'm seduced by some other city in my travels. Traditionally France seems okay with infidelity so it will just have to live without me for a while. Haha, man I am so lame. I've been here one week and all of the sudden I think I'm Oscar Wilde exciled to Pari!

{a perfect dinner}