The day after Christmas I flew to Paris for a little vacation. I desperately wanted to speak French, use Euros, and get so lost in another culture that I forget simple English. I mean Europe is not so far from our American customs- its no India, for example, but there are beautiful subtleties that are so perfectly foreign.
Mean Mr. Blizzard was crafty and decided that he would start dumping the day I was supposed to leave. I got an email from the airline that my flight was cancelled, and the one after that, and the one after that. I called first thing in the morning when the AirFrance offices opened so I could figure out how I could get my American ass into Paris. PARIS! Don't deny me Paris! After debating several options I was able to get a flight, but not until the 29th, cutting three days out of my Paris trip! How absolutely awful! Depressed I went ahead with the best option. I was transfered to my new carrier, Delta, to confirm the trip details. Then the Delta Angel picked up the line-
"Don't you just want to leave today?"
"What!? Yes! Of course!"
And she put me on the Magic Flight. A few hours later the snow started coming down. I checked the website obsessively, but every 20 minutes it was still confirmed that I would indeed be leaving. At the airport the greeters again confirmed that my flight was scheduled to leave on time. As I waited for my plane, I checked the departure board. CANCELED, CANCELED, CANCELED, Nora's Flight- On Time, CANCELED, CANCELED. Some how I magic'd my way on to the ONLY flight that left JFK that day. Some sort of Zen had settled over me, and I didn't even care that I had to sit in the plane for almost 2 hours while I watched them de-ice my wings. I was leaving. Magic.
There is something really special about the city. Everything is super compacted-on-top-of-each-other-why-you-all-in-my-grill and the architecture- well I can't get enough. I can see the city in its past, right in front of my eyes. This lends itself to the way they lead their lives. Everything somehow fits in these small spaces. Take their staircases-Yes, you're supposed to carry your wardrobe, your queen bed, your sofa up these stairs. There is, of course, either no elevator or one so teeny that no more than two people can fit inside. In most of the apartments I had the pleasure of being invited it was filled with all this this old, worn yet truly beautiful furniture . As a lover as aged, wooden things with hand working details and worn down edges I was very charmed. I felt it very fitting that the furniture should fit with the buildings that housed them.
A detail from this door.
They keep their outdoor cafe sections open during the cold weather.
I loved this building- which is actually very typical for Parisian architecture. I have trouble trying to articulate exactly what it is that I am so drawn to. Something about it massive presence, ability to host many people, and to be beautiful and unobtrusive all at once.
I was in Paris for a social visit only- I did hardly a single tourist thing. I did not even see the Eiffel Tower. But I did walk by Notre Dame at night. There is a reason its famous. Because its fucking impressive.