Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ces't Magnifique

Paris: What a surprise! When I think of some of the great cities of the world, I think New York, Rome, London...but perhaps on top of the list is Paris. So I am dumbfounded to find such a small town, intimate feeling to this City of Light. For some reason I find myself comparing Paris to New York. Perhaps because New York is a familiar city to me; one that I find ezxciting, cosmopolitan, alive. But unlike New York, Paris is a horizontal city. The Montparnasse Tower is the only skyscraper in the entire city, and looming over the tops of old buildings, it appears to be an alien space ship that surely is here only temporarily. New York City envelopes you; Paris embraces you. The wide expanse of boulevards never give the sense that it is crowded: The East and Hudson Rivers contain New York; The Seine cradles Paris. It is just so much fun crossing over the bridges from the Right Bank to the Ile du St. Luie to the Ile de Cite to the Left Bank, all the while passing bevies of lively Frenchmen laughing at bustling cafes.

The scale of this city is massive. It is not going up like New York, but as I mentioned, it is a horizontal city. We're walking down this grand boulevard, and I ask, pointing to an exquisite palace, "What is that beautiful building?"
"That's the Louvre." Ah it is gorgeous.
Turning to the right, I point to another beautiful building and ask, "What is that?"
"That's the Louvre."
What! The size and scale of this one museum is unfathomable.

It may be horizontal, but my gaze is often drawn towards the sky. Notre Dame, Sacre Cour, St. Chappelle, the Eiffel Tozer... Oh the Eiffel Tower! We haven't gone to see it yet, but she is visible from our small balcony. We can just see the top part, and at night it is all lit up with a huge beacon of light that rotates so it gives the appearance of a light house standing guard over the city. And what a surprise when all of a sudden the whole tower was sparkling like a Roman Candle on the fourth of July! It turns out that every hour on the hour the tower shimmers for five minutes! It's fantastic!

We went to a market and bought some Brie cheese...Brie tastes so delicious in Paris! Then we went to a Boulanger (excuse all my French misspellings) where we got two long baguettes - still warm. There is a custom that you bite in to the end of the baguette as soon as you pay for it! So you see people walking home with their baguettes poking out of their backpacks or satchels with the end bitten off! Then we went to the butcher shop and bought so,e pate! Our first day in Paris and we did all that! Don't we adapt well!

I will try to find a cyber cafe to write again so I can include pictures. I'm a bit surprised how scarce wi fi is in this city... but check back from time to time. The adventure continues.

No comments: