“Three Perfect Days in Paris” by Boyd Farrow
I was on a plane last week, one of my least favorite places to be since flying makes me anxious, but this article about Paris that I came across in the Hemispheres magazine made it much more enjoyable. And although flying makes me nervous I have to say I love watching the landing as we’re approaching the destination and I don’t think it’s necessarily solely because I know I’ll soon be safely on the ground; it’s just such a cool view from up there. Anyway, I was completely engrossed in this article and the flight was more pleasant because of it. I went to Paris one summer when I was in high school and it is every bit as magical as Boyd Farrow recounts in his travelogue. It definitely transported me back to my visit there and makes me want to go back to go to some of the places he mentions. And how about the photographs…I especially like the one of the three Parisians basking in the light of their beautiful city. They look like characters from a French movie (Jules et Jim by François Truffaut, The Dreamers by Bernardo Bertolucci, and Band of Outsiders by Jean-Luc Godard come to mind). I’m just waiting for them to break into that infamous dance scene at the cafe in Band of Outsiders.
These are some of my favorite quotes from the article to give you a sampling of the delight that’s in store for you:
“I sit down with my giant cheese and watch as people file in and light votives or stealthily angle their phones for the ultimate shot: a selfie with Jesus.”
“By the time we leave, I’m so relaxed I hail a cab standing in the middle of the street. The driver looks terrified. Now, if I could only remember where I put my room key.”
“Everywhere here has a real community feel. You tend to keep an eye on your neighbors’ kids; you know your butcher, baker, and florist. In most big cities, people don’t live like that anymore.”
“In Jacques Genin’s showroom-size chocolate shop on lively Rue de Turenne, a loved-up couple agonizes over a chocolate display as if choosing an engagement ring. I’m agonizing too, over how many kirsch caramels I dare take from the sample jar.”
And I just love the way the article ends, tying in the iconic kiss photograph by Robert Doisneau. So romantic…
“As I thread my way through the crowd, a young Frenchwoman bumps into me, spilling wine down my shirt. Being English, I apologize. She smiles, kisses my cheek, and disappears. Okay, so it’s not a Robert Doisneau moment, but it’s not a bad way to say goodnight to the city—the Eiffel Tower to the west, its sparkling light show reminding us that the clock has just struck 12.”
I’ll stop here so that you actually read the full article because it’s such a treat! Thank you, Boyd, for transporting us to the magic that is Paris.