December 20, 2010
Winter Paris (Pauldc); Chocolat Chaud (yuichi.sakuraba)
I’m beginning to understand that I’m a bit of a masochist. I’m bored by things / people / places that make life too easy, which is probably why I like ornery cats, most fictional villains, winter and (if I’m being honest) the French.
To clarify, I have nothing against Golden Retrievers, damsels in distress, summer or … who’s fun and non-controversial?… the Swedish. It’s just that I also like a challenge. I like to be initially offended but ultimately won over. I like things that don’t care if I like them or not.
Paris under the snow (Christophe Verdier)
And thus, I love winter in Paris. It provides a dark, dismal, unapologetic, multi-month challenge that pushes you to your breaking point, but offers various olive branches along the way—pretty hanging lights, vin chaud, chocolat a l’ancienne, and a great excuse to drink serious red wines and then crawl into bed.
Philosophically speaking, Epicurus saw pleasure as the absence of pain, and Descartes considered the two to be linked on a continuous spectrum. I have to agree. Getting caught in a freak hail storm a few weeks ago (while wearing ballet flats) made arriving home to our cozy apartment on the Ile St. Louis that much more of a triumph. And going days (weeks?) without seeing the sun makes me feel totally justified in my decision to devote entire afternoons to the following “indulgent” activities:
- Lighting a fire (if you have a fireplace… otherwise, probably not a good idea)
- Putting on a nice gnossienne by Erik Satie (the ultimate snowy mood music)
- Popping open a bottle of deep red Cahors
- Eating (excessive amounts of) Saint Marcellin, and perhaps some Lindt Chocolate with Fleur de Sel
- Reading a book / writing nonsense in a journal
- Browsing through Le Fooding and planning my next epicurean adventure
Because making pleasure out of pain is the best way to beat winter at its own game… especially in Paris.
I Love Paris! (John Aives)
- The dream life of Amy Thomas in Paris and New York
- Dorie Greenspan on Paris and American food and the differences between them
- Girls Guide to Paris with tons of great ideas on winter fun in the city of lights
Written by Tory Hoen
After attending Brown University and spending two years in New York, Tory bought a one-way ticket to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a writer (and of drinking wine at lunch). During her time in the City of Light, she chronicled the euphoric highs and the laughable lows of ex-pat life on her blog, A Moveable Beast. Though she's now based in New York, she travels frequently to Montreal and Brazil, and she'll use just about any excuse to jet to Paris ("I ran out of fleur de sel"). A regular contributor to Hip Paris, Tory also writes for New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and she is a co-author of Gradspot.com's Guide To Life After College.
Website: Tory Hoen