Paris is more than a city or a culture to me. I think Paris, through the years, means something new every time I visit, starting with the funny stories my mom and dad have from their time in the city before I was even born, to visiting my step-mom who was living there during my high school years, to studying there for a summer in college, and finally to visiting for the first time as a NYC resident last spring. I loved hearing stories and seeing pictures of my parents and their travels during their life before me. In high school when I was visiting my step mom I was starting to develop my sense of style and love for cities. Being, what felt like, a citizen for the week it gave me a sense of what a day to day life could be like if I ever left Indiana. Studying abroad in college gave me that first taste of true independence, and this last trip left me confused.
Although NYC and Paris do not need me to stand up for them, sometimes I feel like I have to. The passion I have for both cities is strong to say the least. Between the locals, to the tourists, to the complaint of dirtiness, people love to hate the two cities. I know NY better than anywhere else, and even with the beat down the city gives you day in and day out I still love it. Even my Cinderella feeling of moving here quickly turned to reality when I saw my first cockroach scurry across my Upper East Side apartment. But, I will still defend this city to the death, although it has done me wrong a few times.
Paris is different. I am not a resident, but I feel like I know it well enough to act like one. But is that fair of me? I defend that city as well. Probably even harder than NY. My time actually "living" in the city is small. I really just ate well, shopped, and never saw an unwanted creature in any apartment I was staying at. How could you not defend that? NY has always been the stepping stone to Paris. My ultimate goal would be to live and work abroad, Paris being Mecca for me, but I have Paris on a pedestal. Like I used to do for NYC, and I don't think I am ready to let the facade blocking what it really is like to live there fade away. It got me thinking, is NYC really where I am supposed to be and Paris will always just be a beautiful place in the distance?
NAH, I think I can get over it. Paris, call me ;)
If You Want To Know:
Where I Stayed- I have actually never stayed in a hotel in Paris, except one visit for 2 days I stayed at a hostel. I do not remember the name nor would I suggest it. I could go on and on about the amazing 5 star hotels you should stay at, but I am sure there are blogs dedicated purely to that. Like NYC, best bang for your buck would be air bnb since hotels can be very expensive. This last trip we stayed in Montmatre, and it was lovely.
Where I Ate- I could go on and on here (although I am no expert, I know Paris eating is a touchy subject...everyone has their opinions), but below are some of my favorites:
Relais de l'Entrecote- only serves steak and fries, 2 times over, with a delicous herb sauce. The dessert list, though, is extensive. I would suggest the profiteroles.
Angelina- The food is delicious and the hot chocolate is famous. At the very least get a Mont Blanc to go and enjoy it across the street in the Tuileries Garden.
Cafe Lateral- Chic cafe a block from the Arc de Triomphe.
L'as du Fallafel- The most delicious fallafel outside the Middle East (I assume). So good and cheap. Bonus: it is in the heart of my favorite neighborhood, Le Marais.
Paris New York Burgers- Also in Le Marais, this place is insta worthy even if you don't eat burgers.
Hotel Providence- Again, very insta worthy and worth at least a drink at the bar.
Le Deux Magots- Because I love Hemingway I have to add this. If it is nice, stop by for a drink and sit outside. Yes you can do that about anywhere, but although touristy, it is in the heart of another favorite neighborhood, Saint Germain des Pres.
Brunch at the Ritz- Honestly probably the swankiest thing I have ever done. It is such an experience that if you are ready to splurge I could not recommend it enough.
A handful of the above can get touristy, but I think it is still worth a pop in. Also, these are just a few of the restaurant names I can actually remember. I have had many great dinners at nameless cafes. Wander and see where your taste buds take you.
Napoleon's Apartments in the Louvre
Excited about my new purchase at Les Deux Magots