Oh, Paris! It seems almost impossible not to fall in love with the city renowned for romance, but what exactly makes it impossible? Although I truly wish it was because the night takes you back in time to the city’s golden years like in Midnight in Paris, I think the real reasons are a little more realistic- but no less magical.
During my time in Paris, I knew that no matter what, I had to go back.
I wish you could read about the itinerary and all my crazy adventures while there in my diary, but unfortunately this knucklehead deleted the whole thing. The trip had too many adventures to recount, but I did walk away with a very expensive bottle of perfume made and sold only in Paris (thanks B), incredible memories, and ten extra pounds (darn you French chefs).
On our last night in Paris, we ate and talked at an intimate cafe in the street until midnight. It began to rain, so naturally we bought a bottle of wine and walked about a mile to the Eiffel Tower to see the lights go off at 1 am. We ran around underneath the Tower in the blustery sheets of rain, ate leftovers from the restaurants, and drank the warm red wine. There is no greater joy in life than experiencing a moment of infinity with someone, turning to them, and realizing that they already realized it. I’ll cherish my Parisian memories forever.
So, Why Do We Fall In Love With Paris?
1. French kissing in the streets. Excuse the pun- and clique- but this is true! From strolling through the quaint neighborhoods to sipping mochas in the subway, it seemed that spontaneous, passionate kissing had a place in daily public life. As I was making my way home from the local market one I day, I rested on a bench in the quarter beside a lovely fountain. Puttering up on her motorbike, a young woman stopped beside me and pulled off her helmet as her glossy hair cascaded down. I watched as a man in a striped shirt and loafers noticed her from the cafe across the street. He distractedly pushed out from his circle of friends, eyes trained to the girl, stepped up to her, grabbed her head in both hands, and planted the most passionate kiss I have ever seen on her lips- er, face. Although the French culture may be known for being standoffish or cold, the bursts of emotion were like everyday soap operas unfolding before me, and I found myself rooting for the main characters.
2. Shops. We fall in love with the atmosphere of Paris, exhumed by the landscape and what it holds. The vintage look of shops such as the stuffed-to-the-brim bookstore Shakespeare & Company, artesian jewelry vendors, and clothing boutiques all lend to that warm homemade feeling.
3. The food/drink. I have to warn you: you probably think of France when you think of gourmet cuisine, thanks to Julia Child. I cannot stress enough how right Julia was. French food made me- for the first time in six years- put aside my vegan diet so I could i n d u l g e. (I guess my diet’s lowest-low point in Paris was when I ate a nutella, a caramel sugar, and a banana crepe after having a breakfast of three fresh baguettes, jam, honey, juice, and fruit. I couldn’t. Stop. Eating.) The boutique cafes, restaurants with candles that flicker over the cobblestone streets, markets that smell of freshly baked baguettes… Enough said?
4. The architecture. You truly do feel transported back in time to another world while in Paris.The wrought iron railings, the detailing reminiscent of art nouveau, the rusty, corrugated tin rooftops, the insanely glorious Notre Dame, the bridge where lovers lock up their love and throw the key into the Seine that runs beneath- the list goes on, and on. I do have to mention the doors here, though. Many old buildings, hostels, and neighborhoods host heavy, carved wooden doors in a myriad of coloring. From the shabby chic of a crumbling white oak door to the common royal blue, the doors come in every size and shape imaginable, and leaves the mind to wonder what magic could be behind them.
5. The art. “Draw me like one of your French girls,” is a famous line for a reason. Additionally, there are tons of beautiful squares in the city where artists get together to sell and paint. I sipped bubbly drink at the lovely Saint-Hilaire Paradise cafe overlooking the Eiffel tower and watched the cheery bustle of artists in spattered, striped shirts and grazing tourists for hours. The crowded square was like out of a dream; of course I wanted to put on striped shirt and spend the rest of my life painting with those guys. The artistic vibes of the city contribute to both its modern and vintage feel- I’d say there’s a little something for everyone there.
6. The overwhelming romanticism Paris exhumes would not be complete without the language of love. You wake to french bakers shouting for more flour, eavesdrop on french whispers between lovers in the restaurant at midnight, and read french written on buildings, signs, menus. The energy and culture of the city overtakes you, and soon you find yourself in love with Paris.
You might be asking yourself: I’m sold, but what should I pack? Take it from someone who made that mistake: you don’t want to cruise the city looking like you just got off a plane. Stay tuned for my next post to find out the essentials to packing for your trip!
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The recent devastating attacks on Paris left everyone disheartened and in shock. Please continue to keep Paris in your prayers as they recover. Share this post on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter to spread the beauty of Paris. Although a horrible tragedy happened there, the majesty and magic of the place will never fade.