On Paris...

A lot of people say that Paris is the most beautiful city on earth. It certainly is an amazing place--a bustling metropolis of phenomenal architecture, bright lights, sweeping views and a seemingly endless array of art. Paris certainly reflects the wonder and beauty of man's creativity, craft and imagination, but I have to say, I still think La Paz, Bolivia is the most beautiful city I've ever seen. It's set way up high in the Andes Mountains, with the central part of the city at the bottom of a sort of natural bowl lined with small, simple houses that blend perfectly with the color of the arid land backdrop. But I digress...

Our hotel in Paris was in what Parisians refer to as the bad part of town. We stayed at a very basic hotel on the Avenue de Clichy, three metro stops north of Place de Clichy, where the lights of Moulin Rogue sparkle brightly (not to mention the neon glare from the signs of the numerous sex shops and strip clubs).


If that Parisian neighborhood is bad, then Baltimore is a fucking war zone. The area was home to a mostly Arabic-speaking population (and a lot of kebab stands), and the French don't make it any secret how they feel about Muslims. I felt perfectly comfortable where we stayed--it was like being in Queens or Brooklyn or something.

French people have a reputation for being rude and hating United Statesians, but I found the complete opposite. (I hate using the term *American* for people from the US -- the term shows the self centeredness of our culture. But, again, I digress...) Parisians are like New Yorkers, they have a seemingly rough exterior but are really some of the friendliest people I've ever met.

We spent Thanksgiving day wandering the winding streets of Montmarte and exploring Espacio Dali and the Musee de Erotocismo. Our Thanksgiving meal consisted of cheeses, fresh baguettes, fruit and wine from the grocery store. A decent bottle of wine cost just 2.50 euros.

My travel partner and I are recently reacquainted friends--I've told you about her here before. In the years that have passed since our days as close friends and roommates, a lot has changed, or maybe nothing has changed. Maybe we were always very different people who were simply brought together by circumstance. I'm not sure it really matters. We had a great time together in Paris, and though are relationship will probably never be what it once was, I see more shared good times in out future.

Champ-Eleysee, arguably the most famous street in all of Paris, was lined with blue and white lights and vendor stalls selling mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, crepes, fine chocolates and more. From the Arc du Triomph, the view of this winter wonderland was enough to take my breathe away.

The museums in Paris put the ones in our country to shame. In addition to the Espacio Dali, we went to the Musee Rodin, Musee D'Orsay and the Louvre. It was amazing to stand before masterpieces by Vangough, Monet, Da Vinci, Matisse, Rodin..close enough to appreciate every brushstroke.


We spent an entire day at Versailles--once home to Marie Antoinette and King Louis XIV. The gold, the grandeur, I could barely wrap my mind around the idea of people living with that kind of wealth.

We met my Mom and her friend, who happened to also be visiting Paris, met for a fantastic meal at a fine dining restaurant. We had roast duck with a cherry sauce, escargot in a basil sauce, creamy goat cheese wrapped in puff pastry, rabbit in a delicate mushroom sauce, poached pears and a lovely bottle of Bordeaux.


-- Post From My iPhone


  1. J'adore Paris aussi!

    I'm going to refrain from (really) commenting on your assertion that Parisian museums put ours to shame. If you like Old Masters and Impressionism (and David - oh how I miss that gallery at the Louvre!), then you're right, but I'll take Brooklyn's or Boston's Egyptian collection or the Metropolitan's Classical collection any day. And I won't even mention all of the stellar non-Western and Modern/Contemporary collections in the US.

  2. We never encountered any rude or anti-USian bias anywhere in France either. Of course it does help not to act like an ugly one of us. Although, I must admit that we were living in Scotland when we were last there; and the Scots and the French are great friends - united by a common hatred of the English.

  3. What I really like about the Louvre isn't the art... it's all the history seeped into those walls! I've been 3-4 times? and each time I see little doorways opening here and there, "secret" passages between rooms (for servants, lovers etc), and I so wish I could just have the run of the place to explore!!! (ditto Versailles!)

    BS, the Louvre has one of the most varied and complete collections in the world! It takes several visits to see everything properly (to try it in one sitting means walking out with your head about to explode, plus you still won't have seen it all!)

  4. It looks simply amazing! It has renewed my interest for a trip to Paris, I have always wanted to walk Versailles.

  5. What a wonderful time you seem to have had!! Fabulous, just fabulous!

  6. sounds and looks like an amazing trip!!

  7. Thank you for taking me along with you in Paris for a bit! (I'm not jealous, I'm Not jealous, I'm Not Jealous! lol) Your Thanksgiving dinner sounds perfect!

  8. Wow, I can just imagine how you must of felt being there. Your pictures are so cool. I've never been to Europe, but I really should get around to going one day.

  9. It looks amazing! One of the places I wish I had seen was D'Orsay but it was closed the week I was there :( Hopefully someday soon I can go back and see it :)

    Have a great trip!

  10. Im glad you had fun. Love the pics!

  11. Like your pictures, but I have to say, I had the opposite feeling about Parisians-the lot of them were incredibly rude to me and my companions (who spoke fluent French). I suppose it all depends on who you run into.

  12. Paris has always been one of my favourite cities and I try to go there as often as possible so it's good to hear about it from a fresh point of view. thank you. with the noted exception of driving there, my experience of Parisians has always been polite and friendly. glad to hear that's not as rare as some make it out to be

  13. ahh your post made me miss Paris! I was only there for one day in 2006. We quickly visited the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and walked by the louvre, etc.
    Everything about the city is magical.

  14. CrazyCris - I spent a semester in Paris and work in art museums. I love the Louvre, but trust me, I'm familiar with both its strengths AND weaknesses. ;)

  15. Had to stop by this post and share a comment.

    FABULOUS photos! I blog with two bloggers from Paris and whenever they post photos, I'm in awe of it's beauty. I've been to Europe, however, not Paris. Most everyone who visits there loves it.

    And I SO agree with about New Yorkers...

    ...they have a seemingly rough exterior but are really some of the friendliest people I've ever met.

    I use to live there (and will eventually live there again), and find them the most genuine people I've met. Direct and to the point, but I like that. And yet, very helpful if you're lost and need directions.

  16. I'm drooling after reading the menu. What a wonderful trip, I closed my eyes and I was there. Or maybe, I was just looking out of the window, I live in Queens after all lol.

    I liked this post, a lot, it was a fun read and I learn a new word: United Statesian. I think I'll start using it. I always feel a bit weird when people asked me how old I was when I got to America "Um... I was born in America, but I got to New York when I was 16, why?"

    But I guess you are right, it goes with the "We are the king of the world" motto. Too much superiority can be such a drag...