I am a professional croissant eater, a sophisticated beret hat wear-er, and a Moulin Rouge junkie. My winding streets will get you happily lost, and your photos of my elegant buildings and magnificent views will make you feel like a master of photography. Miss Mona Lisa calls me home, and greats such as Michelangelo and Monet keep their treasures here for safe keeping and protection. I am filled to the brim with history and change, and I am the setting of Europe’s greatest love stories. Above the noise and the people, above the monuments and museums, you can find the heart of my being in front of the Eiffel Tower, right there on the grassy lawn. There, you will find the people that have truly embraced and lived my city. Those are the people with their blankets laid out, their bottles of wine opened, in front of the greatest structure to pierce my sky.
Who am I? If I have to tell you, I haven’t done my job correctly.
If you haven’t been to Paris, put it on your bucket list, write it on your calendar, just plan it immediately, right this second. Paris is a city that you can visit a hundred times, and every single time, it will have you experiencing a different kind of magic, it will show you a new side to its already diverse and delicate self. Paris is intricate, and ancient, and magnificent. It will have you catching your breath a thousand times, and yet it will never get old. It’s the city of 101 Dalmatians, The Davinci Code, Louis Vuitton, Coco Chanel, Passport to Paris (deep down, we all STILL love Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) Yves Saint Laurent, escargot (snails), and French fries (kidding).
I have been lucky enough to visit Paris on several occasions, and I fall in love with it over and over again. Its stories and and history never get old, and I can eat more Nutella crepes than the population of France combined. My most recent visit was this past summer, and yet again, I found myself in awe of the same sights and monuments I’ve seen on previous trips. It’s like watching a complicated, elaborate movie the second time around; you get so caught up in the plot that you fail to notice the small hints and details that make the movie so enchanting in the first place. I noticed things on this trip that I was blinded to before, mainly for the fact that when I went for the first time, I couldn’t get the image of the Eiffel Tower (and the SHOPPING) out of my head. But the novelty of seeing the Louvre or the Arc de Triomphe doesn’t wear off; it will NEVER wear off. Instead, quite the opposite happens. The more you see it and visit it, the more you are drawn to it; the more you cannot stop looking at it. This effect takes place at every landmark in Paris, and it may have been what the ultimate goal of the original architects was; for the observer to feel like “sparks are flying” whenever they look at a building in Paris.
Between walking around Notre Dame at night, listening to accordion players claim every street corner as their own , and my sad attempt at speaking French (everything I know about the French language is credited to the movie Moulin Rouge, enough said), the moment that I would live over and over again was when my boyfriend and I bought the cheapest bottle of wine we could get our hands on, grabbed some cheese and crackers, and headed over to sit in front of the Eiffel Tower at dusk. Paris was the first stop on our trip, so mixed with the excitement of having the entire trip ahead of us, brainstorming and naming off cities and countries we wanted to explore, and the glittering of the Eiffel Tower right before our eyes, it felt like all was right in the world, and we were on top of it.