Saturday, September 15, 2012

At the end of the day, Paris is a mass of really pretty lights.

I don't imagine I'll get a lot of time to write after tonight - it's just that tonight everyone is major jet-lagged, so add that to our "not going out alone" rule and you have me chilling here with David Sedaris, Gorillaz, and a baguette. Er, yummm. The sun's falling behind a hill clustered with white buildings and trees and France's bitty Statue of Liberty is just outside, holding up her torch to a Paris I can't quite see for massive apartment buildings. Add the dark ribbon of the Seine rolling past my window, a boat loaded up with tourists, and the lights slowly coming on across the city and you have something remarkably like bliss.

Our hotel/apartment (little suites with baby kitchens that are perfectly equipped to make mint herbal tea) is ten minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower. From the other side of the hotel you actually get an aewsome view of it - so a bit depressing that our room happens to be on the wrong side, but then again, the Eiffel Tower, so obviously glorious, is only just a fair competitor for the completely endearing Little Lady Liberty.
(Classy crazy zoomed in picture of classy Miss Libertay.)

And catching a glimpse of Le Sacre Coeur, set up on the hill, gorgeous and exotic and Parisian as anything, as we shuttled/bussed/metroed/walked into the city was totally one of those perfectly framed, breathless movie moments found in such enduring classics as Passport to Paris or that other well-acclaimed Olsen film noir, Winning London.

And the energy of this city is gorgeous, said with only a bit of throaty enthusiastic sarcasm. We've got a Monoprix on the corner, mais oui, and it was only after buying an armful of groceries that I realized that they don't just give you shopping bags. And the cashier I asked for one really was pissed, especially when, after begging her for one in half broken French, half desparate English, I produced what I thought was a five cent Euro coin, but what was instead a pound coin that had been floating around in my bag. And it was stressful as anything, because, I dunno whether you've noticed, but I feel like French stores move fast. I feel like I had better know exactly what I'm getting and exactly how much to hand over and God HELP me if I hesitate. The point of that? I love that there's this whole city moving around me that doesn't give a crap that I made a fool of myself for a second at the Monoprix. Not like most cities, or towns, or even villages would give a crap, but for some reason it's like, yeah, that kind of stressed me out. Being embarassed does that to you. But who cares? Because the Seine is chillin outside my window, and I get to have croissants fourrés (although I just googled that so I could use the accent on the e, and found a recipe for it using curry. Que??) for breakfast every morning because, hello, chocolate and croissants? Heaven. And I get to make new friends in one of, if not the, most gorgeous cities (y) in the world and I get to live ten minutes from the Eiffel Tower for a week and a half and I get to watch the sun set over Paris and leave the sky the same warm, drowsy hue as the rest of the city lights. Paris, je t'aime.
 (Paris is bloody hard to shoot zoomed in, out a window, at night. So we make it intentionally blurry and call it style.)

There! That's better. I dig the different shades in each strip of the picture. Way to go, Paris. Well done.

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