"Sous le ciel de Paris s'envole une chanson
Elle est née d'aujourd'hui dans le coeur d'un garçon.
Sous le ciel de Paris marchent des amoureux
Leur bonheur se construit sur un air fait pour eux."
I love Paris, but you already know that.
This morning, on my hellish commute, I was thinking about how fabulous life in the city of lights is. Or, more specifically, how fabulous my life in the city of lights is.
Yes, it's expensive. Yes, it's polluted. Yes, it can be frustrating. But I love it.
I hate my commute, but every single evening the view from the C train as it crosses the Seine and heads to the Rive Gauche makes me happy. I look up from my book as the train leaves the station at Avenue Kennedy and the Seine opens up before me - the view is straight down the river and the Eiffel Tower fills the frame. My heart sings a little and I know that I'm almost home.
When I head out of an evening to meet friends in the Marais I always go on foot. 200 metres from the house and I'm at Bastille - the grande place with the striking Colonne de Juillet at the centre. The traffic is crazy, there are motards everywhere, the cafés are buzzing and the city is alive. Again, my heart sings a little and I thank my lucky stars.
Sunday morning and I slip out of bed. I throw on a pair of joggers and some kind of jumper and head to the boulangerie Bazin. I wait in line (there's always a line at the best bakers in town) and take in the sights and the smells. I buy my chouquettes, my pains au chocolat and a baguette. I head home, undress and slip into bed next to my boy. We sleep a while longer knowing that when we wake up the best breakfast ever is waiting for us.
I stand at the bar at my favourite nightspot - the Freedj - and I chat to my friends. We speak a mixture of English and French together, depending on who's in town. We laugh - boy do we laugh - we share our ridiculous weeks and we down a few drinks. We leave the bar and head off for cheap chinese food.
Crossing rue Beauborg, we pass the Centre Georges Pompidou - beautifully lit at night and causing controversy even when closed, even so many years after it was opened.
the Pompidou centre reminds me of myself in so many ways. It is so clearly not born of the city in which it has been planted. It has a style that is different to the local style. It expresses itself using a different language. But despite this, it has been welcomed into the hearts of Parisians....even if they didn't like it particularly at first.
I love Colette, Monoprix and Galeries Lafayette.
I love donning my sunglasses and strolling 'les Champs' on a crisp, sunny Sunday afternoon.
I love taking taxis (alarmingly inexpensive) and riding the last métro home. I love ordering a noisette and a tartine for breakfast, vite-fais. I love a Salade de Chêvre for lunch and a carafe of rosé. I love walking 'la Coulée Verte'.
I love Paris, but you know what? What it is that I love most of all?
I love being in love in Paris.
But I think that's a different post altogether.