Paris Memories

Watching Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” is dangerous, not because it’s horrifically bad (as it’s actually wonderfully delightful) but because it’ll make you want to get on the next flight out to Paris. The movie brought back so many memories of Paris that I yearned to plan another trip so that I could wander the city aimlessly like Gil Pender (Owen Wilson). I immediately fell in love with Paris during my first visit, in 2006, and to this day she remains my favorite city.

It’s always funny when you take a look at photos taken a while ago. In my case, I mostly wish I took more photos of certain things. But then I tell myself that I didn’t take many photos because I was too busy actually enjoying the vacation and I don’t feel so bad.

Montmartre was my favorite neighborhood at that time. Bohemian, diverse, artsy and just a little bit gritty. I got a cheap ham and cheese sandwich from a street vendor, climbed up to Sacre-Couer and took a little white train around the neighborhood. Montmartre actually has a lot of sex shops and peep shows but it’s definitely safe and doesn’t have the same seediness as sex districts in other cities. If you fancy some artwork, there’s a lot of artists that set up shop along Montmartre’s streets. There’s also a plethora of flea-market style stores, selling cheap clothes and accessories out of cardboard boxes. Hubby scored a velvet jacket while I got a tote that I still use to this day.

Did I find Notre-Dame and the Eiffel Tower as fascinating as their fame would suggest? Somewhat. As with most other popular attractions, I enjoyed them more when I was simply strolling by on a quiet evening nigh than during the day with the crowds. One thing that did happen as expected was our encounters with gypsy beggars. I came out of the restroom outside the Eiffel Tower to find Hubby staring at a beggar woman who had handed him a piece of paper asking “Speak English?” Hubby, being the more trusting of us two, took the paper, which encouraged the woman to stretch out her hand for money and simply wait until she got some. I ran over and grabbed him away.

While I found the Louvre quite interesting, the Rodin Museum was much more manageable and enjoyable due its small size and pleasant gardens. I wanted to shout “I’ve been there!” when Gil Bender from “Midnight in Paris” was walking around the statue with the tour guide (an understated Carla Bruni).

Next up, my second visit to Paris.

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