Saturday, April 18, 2009
There isn't much to say about Paris in the Spring that hasn't already been said a thousand times. No matter what time of year I am there, I mainly spend my time in one of two ways; walking around the city until my feet are blistered or sitting in a cafe soaking in the flavor of the city. This trip, I was so tired on the afternoon I got there that I spent my time at the hotel sleeping. A pity really because the sun was shining until late evening and the weather was warm enough for walking without a jacket. Ah well, sleeping in Paris is nice too. My departure back home on day two was late afternoon and since I was well rested I was up early and armed with my camera and iPod, I set out... only to go back to my room within 30 seconds to get my umbrella. Naturally. It wasn't too bad really, just a bit of morning rain and by 11 am it was just a bit cloudy is all. My first stop was the Eiffel Tower. I have been up to the top a few times before, so this time I just wanted to stay on the ground and have a look at it. Funny that at one point people were wanting to have it torn down, and now you could not possibly separate the city from the iconic imagery of it. I bought a cafe au lait and a croissant from a vendor. I sat, sipped, ate and listened to Daft Punks' Phoenix. before heading across the river to continue my walk. I wandered through the Marais, window shopping and wishing I had that Parisian sensibility that would allow me to have the confidence to wear something made of velveteen. I walked past Hotel Deville, back across the river and toward Notre Dame. The Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom in the garden behind, and as the wind blew slightly the petals floated down in a shower as tourists snapped photos and young African men sold trinkets to people who could not resist the allure of a blinking Eiffel Tower lapel pin. I bought a sandwich and perched on a bench for a while to people watch. A small boy cried when his parents would not buy him a crepe. An Asian man videotaped his girlfriend tossing pieces of bread to birds in a fountain. A teenager in a t-shirt that read 'Revolution', scowled when his parents suggested that they get a better look of Notre Dame by going inside. Before I knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for my flight home. Luckily, I will be back in Paris in a few days time to continue my wanderings around the city.