Now I have to tell you that Paris, although still completely intoxicating, spellbinding, breathtaking, mysterious, and a whole group of other adjectives, has become somewhat of a friend over these last couple of trips. Mon ami as they say.
I now have a "regular" place I like to stay. On "my little island". A regular place I have my morning tea and croissant. Sometimes they even recognize me there. A regular afternoon crepe with nutella to snack on, couldn't think of anything other I would rather eat when strolling around Paris. A regular corner florist where I buy the flowers for my hotel room. My own metro stop. A favorite place to walk along the Seine. My favorite market and even a cheese shop that i can't resist.
And yet the city is full of idiosyncracies that I love to observe and a million things that I don't understand... like how to use a foreign credit card on one of those cool city rent bikes that you can pick up anywhere and drop off anywhere else for pennies! Anyone?
To me, Paris is still full of contradictions and things that you dont' expect. Its one of the things I love most about it.
...the Notre Dame.
right across the street from this...
... a popular cafe that stays open all night with French and tourist alike.
A cafe mixed right into our view of Sacre Couer.
Or like color at every turn,
...right next to a neutral that is just as beautiful.
Like this older French gentleman shopping at the outdoor vegetable market who couldn't feel more "french" to me, with his classic profile, his expression and of course, his cane,
... just a few streets down from this little boy we met at the park that, to me, epitomizes what I think a little French boy ought to look like. Right down to his shoes. And his little red truck.
And the little courtyards. The old entryways and covered walkways. The quiet spots away from the bustle and the cars. The softer side of Paris. So unexpected when you are walking on a major boulevard. But suddenly there it is.
And the menus. Don't let me forget about the menus. The little menus in every shape color and style. The little menus that have come to communicate something to me about Paris, its simplicity, its people, its love of food. These little boards have become somewhat of an obsession for me. I think I have probably photographed at least a hundred of them by now. I just can't seem to get them out of my system. I love them. How silly is that?
Or what about the fact that here, this is what the salt aisle at the store looks like.... yes, that's right, the salt aisle. Nothing but salts.
Or the fact that almost every Brasserie you pass has its doors open and feels this inviting. Like you've been there before... but you haven't.
... this has absolutely nothing to do with Paris, but you gotta love a husband who is willing to carry a "merse" [man purse] with embroidery on it all around the city!
... A place that feels like my friend.
Talk to you soon.