City dwellers, back me up on this— sometimes you get totally infatuated with a city. You see the sunlight against a building, feel the energy of a big crowd, hear some street musicians play a soundtrack to your moment. Whatever it is, you get butterflies. All of a sudden, you're on a first date with this city and it's going. really. well. All possibilities are now on the table.
This was my trip to Paris last month. It was our second time there, and instead of playing super-tourist like I normally do (sorry, Adam!), I decided it was okay to slow down for once. We focused only on the types of activities we really love. Café dwelling, museum going, street wandering, people watching, food tasting— all the good things. This kind of non-itinerary allowed us to observe the beauty that is daily life in Paris.
I'm not sure how I got hooked in, exactly, but something about the Parisian light on those old stone buildings or walking through little neighborhood streets on quiet mornings— it was just over. You guys, I think it might be serious...
On our first day in Paris, we went to the Marché Bastille for picnic supplies— tangerines, olives, soft cheese, and your mandatory baguette. We went to a few other markets during our stay, and I probably took 200 food pictures combined— it is too gorgeous and inspiring! This is the kind of food that has you questioning why you live in not-Paris. Same goes for ^the flowers^. Even in the midst of winter, they are too good to be true.
Guys, ^olives stuffed with anchovies^ … eat your hearts out, brine lovers.
^Another flower picture^… because, flowers!
Another thing to love about Paris: the jazz! It is so accessible here. From bands giving street performances like ^ this one ^ outside the market to really inexpensive jazz clubs (most have no cover as long as you buy drinks) with excellent programming, Parisians really know what how to serve up and enjoy a good jazz show .
Parisian cafés really want to make sure you can locate them, just in case you need to drink espresso and have a good conversation in a hurry. You might laugh, but sometimes you just NEED to get to a café ASAP. This happens about twice daily when you go to Paris.
Ugh, ^these side streets^ !! They're too pretty. It hurts my eyes, really.
We took our goodies from the market and ate at ^a park in the Marais.^ These little neighborhood parks just don't come any prettier. If weather permits, I recommend having a picnic like twice a day in Paris.
You can't have a picnic without a baguette. Don't do it!
The Jardin des Tuileries are still pretty wonderful in the winter. Combined with an overcast sky, the red-brown foliage (still perfectly sculpted) gives the grounds a moody kind of quality. Also, surprisingly, they are still crowded. Lots of joggers and families and wanderers fresh from the Louvre.