What is it about Paris that attracts millions of tourists each year? A certain je ne sais quoi. Actually I do know, and I will tell you. The French simply live life as it should be lived: stylishly, with great art and good food. They cherish their history, and look to the future. They portion their food, walk in gorgeous shoes, speak a beautiful language, and stay culturally and politically involved.
The French often get a bad name on the other side of the pond. They are referred to as snobby, rude, pretentious. But if you make the tiniest effort to speak a few words of French to them, they change instantly. You can check out some podcasts to get the accent right. Pour example: Parlez vous anglais? Bonjour, je voudrais un cappuncino. See? Anyone can do it.
I have never had a negative experience with a French person. In fact, when I was lost at 1am in the horrible maze of the “Chatelet” metro stop, a kind French couple walked me all the way to the correct line I needed to get on. It was a 10 minute walk.
Here are a few things I adore about Paris. Being fortunate enough to have been there twice in the past three months, I have come up with this short list of my favoirites:
Building or Monument: Opera de Paris Garnier. If you’ve ever seen Phantom of the Opera, you’ll know why. It is simply breathtaking, mysterious, haunting, and grand.
Street: St. Germain des Pres (ok, I’m predictable)
Museum: Big Museum- Mussee D’Orsay, for impressionistic dreaming. Do stop by and see the Degas ballerinas! Small Museum- Musée Nissim de Camondo for a beautiful home and art collection with a tragic ending, in early 20th century Paris.
Patisserie: Anything with an enticing window display. I’m a sucker for an opulent visual. There are some lovely patisseries near and on the St. Germain des Pres. Please try a macaroon. Do it for me.
Boutique- Everything in Le Marais.. peek into RAG, HippyMarket, and Allison & Sasha
Dessert- Tarte Aux Pommes
While you’re dreaming about a perfect trip to Paris, download some French jazz.
*Search: St. Germain des Pres Café, in ITunes (I have Volumes 1- 8).