February 15, 2013
Whenever I return to Paris, it always takes me a few days to get settled and realize that I am actually here. A while ago, Tory wrote a post on how she knows she’s in Paris, which inspired me to think about the signs that tell me I’ve arrived.
Everyone has their own Paris; a few special haunts and pleasures that always make returning to Paris feel like a wonderful indulgence. I’ll bet most regular visitors have certain things they always do and see as soon as they hit the ground. I arrived here a few days ago and like clockwork, these seven habits kicked in.
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October 20, 2011
I don’t think anyone would dispute that the French are the masters of leisure and purveyors of refined hedonism. Meals, apéros, discussions, and strolls are all to be conducted tranquillement – without haste and with an utmost respect for life’s little pleasures. With a vast selection of renowned terraces, parks, shops, secret passageways and charming cobblestone streets, it’s no wonder their capital city ranks highly for a laid-back kind of lifestyle.
But for Paris neophytes, particularly those accustomed to a far more hurried pace, this leisurely style is a bit of a head scratcher and is my most vivid first memory of the city. When I first arrived in Paris, my legs only functioned on two speeds – fast and faster – and this immediately perplexed my husband on our first date.
Was I in a rush? Trying to escape him? Neither, really. I was simply conditioned to stride with purpose, leaving aimless wandering for rare occasions or to aid in digestion after a heavy meal.
Couple strolling on rue Montorgueil (Lost in Cheeseland)
My feckless attempts at regulating my speed made us both chuckle and helped to abate all visible signs of first-date butterflies. With a winsome smile and blushed cheeks, he reached for my hand and pulled me back toward him to match his gait.
“Where’s the fire? We’re enjoying ourselves”, he reminded me. And that set the course for the rest of our 8-hour date. As we walked from our rendez-vous point at Odéon, through Luxembourg Gardens, and eventually winded our way through the 2nd to rue Montorgueil for a cheese plate, I began to understand why the French have a word to describe the very act of strolling. Continue Reading »
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