Whenever I speak about my love of Paris, I’m always quick to be asked: what’s so special about it? It’s a dangerous question to ask me if you’re short on time, because I could go on about it in sonnets and song. But here, let me list a few reasons why Paris captures my heart…
I’m not going to lie to you and say that eating as a vegetarian in Paris is easy, because it’s not. French food is based upon warm comfort dishes that include duck, escargot, and broiled chickens. But cut passed all those viande dishes and you’ll hit the base of every lunch and dinner: bread and cheese. Oh, dear Lord in heaven above! The cheese! The stinky, stinky cheese! The soft cheeses on hard bread crusts,and the hard cheeses with warm bread innards! Give me all of it! Warm weather, cool weather, there is nothing better (rhyme was accidental)! All the cheese is so reasonably priced (try an outstanding fromage charcuterie board for ten euros) and so filling. I could really, truly live in it.
But I forgot about breakfast and dessert (even though cheese is often eaten as a dessert)… the freshest sweets and pasteries you could ever imagine! Fresh fruit oozing inside, warm hazelnut chocolate spilling over the outsides… it’s warm perfection. It’s absolute heaven in your mouth. If you top it off with a real Parisian hot chocolate, you’re truly set.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a country with endless gastro-heaven!?
(Also, J is a fish eater, and he had a few dishes that absolutely blew his fish-eating mind.)
History & Inspiration
Everywhere you go in Paris has a story. And it’s not a story of just one hundred years or so, it’s a story that’s centuries and centuries old. Everywhere you look, there is something to behold, to take in, to appreciate, that adds to the history and cultural development of this nation. It’s a city that is alive with the ghosts of it’s past. This includes a past of the arts as well… artists of all kinds called Paris home, and their spirit of inspiration lives on these streets. You cannot walk somewhere and not be overtaken with passion and an urge to create! It’s the most inspiring city in the entire world.
And there is nothing I love more than browsing through the old books, photographs, postcards and imagery of the market stalls around the city.
There is a unified look within the first few arrondissements of Paris. Buildings all have the same number of floors, colours are of the same palette, and despite most of the buildings being from the 1600s, they all look new, alive, and ready to be lived in. There isn’t a corner of Paris that doesn’t look good in a photograph. Streets are clean, shrubbery is valued and taken care of by the city, and classic market stands all around the Seine just make this place … perfect.
This city has it all – busy city spaces, green spaces that are absolutely extraordinary and seem like you’ve been transported to another era, historic buildings ready to be explored and devoured, a river to sit next to with a book, quiet side streets that bring you back to the Paris of old… etc etc…
Paris is a fashion capital of the world. Every resident of Paris has a … je ne sais quoi! Their sense of style is impeccable, the way they are composed and hold themselves in public spaces oozes of the etiquette of royalty, and they have a sense of pride and love of their fellow Parisians that is honourable. You can’t help but stop and stare at a well dressed Parisian man or woman strolling down the cobblestone streets.
I really could go on and on about this marvelous city, but I’m feeling drained at the thought, because my heart aches for it. Perhaps I’ll add to this list in a later entry, but for now, I hope you get a taste of what I love about the City of Love & Lights.
Is there something I listed about Paris that intrigues you most?