Oh, Paris. Ohhh, Paris. I didn’t think I’d fall in love with Paris the way that I did. Everybody goes on & on about this city & I just kept wondering if it would make me feel the same way. “Is it over rated?” I would ask Sam again & again. I was worried I would get there & the reality would fall short of my expectations. But no. I needn’t have worried. Paris is wonderful. Paris is magic. Paris is everything they say Paris is.
Just wandering the streets in this city is magical. There’s something so iconic & historic about the architecture here. A complete hit of PARIS everywhere you go, just based on the windows & the rooves & the awnings.
We spent a day at one of the largest open air markets in the city, one weekend. It was actually our first day in Paris & it really set the tone. We wandered the busy sidewalk, ducking between vendors & shoppers. Flowers & food & fish were in abundance at every stand & it just made me fill up with happiness. Here are people who love food & flowers the way I do. (The way many of us here in California, do!)
We bought our first pain au chocolate here & honestly it was SO freaking good. I can’t even explain properly: the (good – there is bad) pastries in Paris are just loaded up with butter in the most delicious way. The mouthfeel of the pastry & butter & chocolate… I could eat more than one in a day & did, too.
My mom said, when I got home & tried to explain, “Yes, people say they go there & just live on bread?” The only answer, Momma, is “Yes, yes, & you would, too.”
But there are other wonders in Paris, too. I’ve told you about the best falafel of my life, haven’t I? It’s here, if you want to see that again. Sam & I still talk about it. That & the gelato in Italy & the pasta in Italy & the sandwich we had in Florence. Oh man, I could go on an Italy tangent here for ages…. Highlights of our two months in Europe, for sure. But also the falafel. There are SO many places in Paris, in that one area of the city, that serve amazing falafel. I wish, desperately, that there was even one place that did it as well as they did here in San Francisco. I’d make the trip to our city just for that.
Oh well, I’ll just have to go back to Paris, I suppose. What a curse. 😉
We made a special trip just to visit this place. I have a few very good friends who spent a semester in Paris during college & one friend in particular said you must go to my cafe & get a drink & have a smoke. I didn’t have a smoke, since I don’t, but I did get enough second hand smoke to make up for it, haha.
Anyways, Les Philosophes. Great place to sit & people watch, right along a busy street in the sweet cobble stone streets of Paris. I can’t remember the neighborhood, of course, but it’s one of the main ones & you’ll find the falafels there, too, so you must go.
We sat & we ordered espressos & we just people watched. The two couples next to us were quite fascinating, actually. They were British & American & yet they knew the waiter quite well. & then it turned out that he was British, too, which might have saved me a lot of fumbling with my non-French. But oh well. Do you ever do that? Get so entranced with the conversations & lives of the people next to you? It’s a favorite hobby of mine & sometimes Sam has to make me knock it off so that the two of us can have our own decent conversation. Hah!
Sweet buildings everywhere & we went for a long sunset/golden hour walk along the Seine. I had decided that afternoon that today was the day I wanted to see the Eiffle Tower up close & so we decided to walk, because who doesn’t want a lovely walk through Paris? It ended up being miles extra than we thought, but there was no throwing in the towel & taking the metro once we started. You have two very stubborn people when it comes to walking &/or Euros that could be spend on an extra pain au chocolate or wine. Priorities, people, priorities.
So we got our long long golden hour walk along the Seine, which really is just magic, even when your feet start to hurt because you’re wearing sandals because you just refuse to wear non-cute shoes in Paris. & then we got the Eiffle Tower at dusk & night. Twinkle lights & everything; it was quite magical.
Here’s a photo of it at night, on Instagram, if you want to see. Otherwise, at dusk! The Eiffle Tower is another thing you think will be so touristy & yet, no. It’s magical. I actually teared up when I saw it for the first time, which sounds so ridiculous & sentimental now, but at the time just felt real. It’s SO pretty & it’s so special to see it in person after you’ve been thinking about it for years & years.
Or maybe it was just the miles of walking & my poor feet. haha! 😉
The buildings are all magical & historic looking, except when they’re not, I suppose. But that’s true for most of Europe. I’m a door lover & a door photographer, so I definitely stopped to take a lot of photos of the doors.
The outdoor cafés are a blast. I think it’s fun to be jammed in with a bunch of people, all enjoying an espresso or a snack. It’s a totally different experience than we have here in the US, where we all like our space. I don’t think a Parisienne cafe would gain much traction in the US with the crowded in seats. Often patrons have to ask others to get up in order to get to their spots.
We went to one funky place which I’ll tell you about more later just because it deserves its own post, where they actually helped us to step on the chairs & over the tables because it was so crowded. So fun, so funny.
We were there the first week of May & the flowers were everywhere. So lovely. That’s all. Just lovely.
I wished we could have explored this neighborhood more. It was quirky & we wandered down one alley that was literally covered in graffiti. I love that.
The Canal St. Martin was a favorite. We watched the sun go down here, the reflection of the buildings made me happy. There’s also a TON of young people here, all doing the same thing with snacks & cheese & baguettes & wine. It’s quite the place to be & one of those areas of the city that really make you wish that we could make outdoor drinking in moderation legal in the states. I don’t know, maybe our culture isn’t right for it. But still. This is a fun place to go & be & be seen & just hang out.
But so is everywhere in Paris. We spent over a week here, just wandering around. We went to the famous museums & the shops & the dessert places & the bakeries. We had a local place that we loved & we wandered the city streets finding non-recommended gems, too.
It’s Paris, you literally cannot go wrong.
The Jardin du Luxembourg was a favorite. We had a picnic here of fresh apple juice (I was on a fresh pressed apple juice kick at this point) & a raspberry tart (okay, okay, another obsession in Paris), & baguette & fresh cheese. We accidentally wandered into a really fabulous little grocery store right outside the gates that practically screamed small, Parisienne, Whole Foods. So like Whole Foods, but better, which is wonderful & like Narnia, haha.
The flowers. Oh, the flowers. The flowers that went on for ages & the golden light.
Paris, Paris. Can you tell from this little ode to Paris of a post that I’m missing it so much already. I need to go back. Also, possibly in winter. I’m dying to see this pretty city in the snow, you know? Is that crazy?
* All photographs in this post by Simone Anne. Please don’t reproduce without permission. Thank you! xx