Walking through the streets of Paris is like dancing through a dream. You want to touch everything but are afraid that if you do, you risk staining a mirage. Streetlights serenade. Cobblestone streets charm. Sidewalk artists seduce. And the cafés exude a romantic quality all their own.
It had been more than 10 years since my last visit, and yet none of that magic was lost on me. If anything, I had gained an even greater appreciation for all that Paris has to offer, and I wanted to experience it the way I had finally learned how. By reveling in the opportunity to get lost, breathing in new sights and familiar neighborhoods, and allowing myself hours to drink coffee, people watch, and listen to the sounds of local street musicians.
My joie de vivre returned in those three days.
The first night I arrived I was happy to wander around aimlessly in the streets of the 18th arrondissement and managed somehow to stumble upon a beautiful vantage point of Sacre Coeur basilica, my happy place. There have been countless times in my life when I would close my eyes and find myself here–usually while frustrated or sad or angry–and here it was sprawled out before me.
I hate to say this, because it sounds so trite, but I actually became emotional. I didn’t care that I had arrived without a suitcase and was wearing a slip I had purchased in a lingerie shop because it was the only store I could find open (true story), or that work and life stress had been eating away at me for the past few weeks. I was in Paris and life was sweet again.
I wrote postcards to friends back home and even one to myself. I wanted to remember what it felt like to feel so alive again.
As much as I love life in New York, it is a city that often takes a toll on me. I needed Paris to comfort and soothe me.
This is the city, after all, where my parents met and fell in love. And it was easy to understand why.