Paris, you’ve got me good. Apparently I just can’t stay away. After a few initial hiccups with an overbooked Eurostar train and a reshuffling of seats and reassigning of tickets, I finally arrived in lovely, lovely Paris. The last time I visited, it was dry, but cold and grey, and I wandered the streets with a takeaway coffee in hand, bundled in my favourite fur lined coat. But now, summer is here, and that is when Paris really comes to life. Though, I think its a city which burns bright all year round.
My lovely friend Alice met me at the train station with a box of gluten free brownies, convinced that I would be starving from my journey (I was), and she took me to the best little cafe, just a stone’s throw from the train station, where we hurriedly ordered cappuccinos sprinkled in cinnamon, flirted with the barista and challenged him to make an Eiffel Tower in latte art for us. It was pretty good, I have to say.
Alice’s flatmates were lovely, and we cooked a feast to celebrate our different nationalities for dinner that evening, with Alice and myself baking an apple crumble, while Rai, from Majorca, make a beautiful seafood paella, and Pierre and Marie, a French couple, the main occupants of the apartment, served various side dishes; the most amazing blue cheese I’ve ever tasted, fresh bread from the local boulangerie, side salad and plenty of fruit, as well as several bottles of good French wine.
We talked late into the night, swapping stories and talking about our travels, adventures and love lives, drinking far too much wine.
I wander the streets at night with my camera. Paris is a city which never sleeps. Jazz bars, bistros, parties, photoshoots. People wandering as aimlessly as I. There’s always something going on, no matter how late it is.
I squeeze in a lot in two days. I go to two gigs, get lost with friends, eat cheese with gluten free bread by the Seine while a busker plays Leonard Cohen. I see exhibitions and climb the steps to Sacre Coeur just to see the view. I eat too much and visit my favourite bookshop; Shakespeare & Company. I kiss someone with a name I can’t pronounce and laugh a lot with everyone I meet.
What seems like far too soon (which it was, of course), it’s time to say goodbye. Alice is moving soon to San Francisco, and so I try to put everything I want to say into my goodbye hug. Neither of us are much good at goodbyes, even though we’re both well practiced. I take a photo – a polaroid – of the two of us, and give it to her to keep.
Until next time, Paris. Lord knows, it won’t be long.