Bonjour!! I have landed safely in Paris for a two-day stop. It is ironic that the only other time I was in Paris was close to 13 years ago and I was sick with a stomach virus then and I am now on the tail end of the flu. Hopefully, it is not a trend, for I have plans to come back to Paris at the end of this leg.

I have committed to walking each city when I arrive and to taste whatever the local flavor may be. I want to see the city face to face, foot by foot, smell by smell and taste by taste. I love not knowing when I will turn a corner and find something spectacular like when walking down to the Tracadero section of Paris, I looked to my left and through the bend of a city street, I could see the Eiffel Tower. 

Or walking through St. Germain and stopping for a coffee on a sidewalk cafe. I strolled down the banks of the Seine River until I met with a spectacular view, The Louvre. 

Equipped with the right shoes, my feet will take me miles while the views are like a feast for my eyes. In my opinion, it’s the best way to get a feel for a city, step by step and inch by inch. 

I have a new Italian friend in Paris that was so kind as to welcome me by taking me to Hotel Costes near the Place Vendome for a sip of wine and the BEST foie gras that has ever crossed my lips. Today, I thank God that the worst of my cold is behind me and my taste buds are back, because this was one sinful snack I would have been devastated to miss.

Hotel Costes is known to be a den of opulence. The owners are renowned in Paris for opening the hottest spots where the trendiest and most sophisticated of scenesters play. So was the case my second night there where I was invited to dinner at their newest spot, Montignon. 

A charming, low lit and fashionably placed eatery in the Champs Elysees area. It had only recently opened so the crowd was fresh, lively, yet consciencially subdued. The girls dressed in the latest couture. None underdressed and all assembled with their natural God-given looks. There were no spray tans or fat injections. No vulgar fake implants perched firmly and high above the table. They were beautiful, natural and tasteful. The manners were noticeable, too, as everyone would stand at the table as someone new entered the space. All were greeted with two kisses and a welcoming salutation in an array of languages. The hostess walked down the entrance hallway as if she was strutting on the catwalk while a table of 20 from Morocco cheered on one of their own to continue the dance he stood so proudly to display. Our table joined in by waving white napkins over head to jaunt and taunt. The meal was 5 star. I ordered a calamari Bolognese with a beef carpaccio, Venetian style. We drank wine and sipped champagne. A true Parisian experience.

I am pleasantly surprised at the friendliness and politeness of those I have met here. One more welcoming than the next. In the one brief evening of socializing, I was extended an open invitation to come back to Paris and to also visit Marrakech. A trip I will certainly find time in my itinerary to accommodate. 

I posed the question to one of those seated at the table. “What makes someone love a city? Is it the people or the city?”. For him, it was the city. He spoke of Paris as if it were his lifelong love capable of breaking his heart. Missed while he is away and so thankful once returned. He spoke of the distinct smells of the patisseries and the ability to walk home at night while witnessing some of the most aesthetically beautiful surroundings this world has to offer. An affair he was born into and an affair he would die to lose.

Such eloquence and sophistication amongst an intelligent and appropriate crowd. They were as beautiful as the city itself, inside and out. I think I will be happy to come back. Au revoir, Pareeee! But, only for now. 

Next stop, Amsterdam.
One Response to “Pareeee!”
  1. intuition says:

    sounds like a dream!

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