December 18, 2008

Where to Begin

Nine days is a long time to be in a city, let me tell you. It's a long time to be eating baguette sandwiches every day for lunch, and drinking café crèmes every morning that Katja's in class (in the most beautiful boulangerie with a painted ceiling and a picture-perfect spread of pastries and waiters in crisp white vests). 

It's a long time to be walking around in the freezing cold and ducking into churches to warm up (I went in four in one day: St-Francois-Xavier, Notre Dame, St-Germain des Prés and one other I can't remember). 

It's hard to know where to begin. 

I've been thinking about it a lot in the last few days, trying to boil it down to an Essence of Paris, but all that's gotten me is a list of things I miss:

-the blue of the Eiffel Tower at night
-how you can see the buttcrack of "The Thinker" if you peek over the garden wall of the Rodin Museum on the blvd. des Invalides
-the men with two-day beards who roast chestnuts over fires in steel drums in stolen shopping carts on almost every corner
-how a delicious, hearty sandwich of brie, ham and butter was only 2.20 from the boulangerie by the Duroc métro stop (the one with the best, best baguettes, oh man)
-how so many little kids wear glasses, like little adults
-how open the city feels along the Seine, none of that Fifth Avenue cavern feeling, and how
-at night, you can actually see les étoiles

This weekend, as it snows and snows and (hopefully) snows, I'm going to bake like a fiend and, while the oven does its thing, I'll fill you in on the nitty-gritty details of Paris. But for now, I'll simply leave you with a declaration of love, and grapefruit (click on it to read the message).

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