“Paris should always be seen, the first time, with the eyes of childhood, or of love.”
The first time I saw Paris I was soggy, sleep-deprived, and hungry from the soles of my shoes to the top of my head. A series of flight delays in New York had forcibly cut the visit short. I was traveling alone and staying in a less-than-satisfactory hostel where I was robbed of €200 on my very first night. The trip didn’t exactly begin as planned. In spite of the rough start, I spent the next 2 days wandering around in the rain, moon-faced and smiling. I spent every last cent (and there weren’t many left) at the boulangeries on tiny espressos, crusty bread, and red wine. I walked every single cobblestone street in Montmartre. It was like I had opened my eyes for the first time. Every detail was new and beautiful and impossible to ignore. I couldn’t find a way to care about any moment aside from the one I was in – kind of like a big dumb, drunk adult-sized child.
This time around, of course, the experience is much different. (Except for the part about being drunk.) Introducing this city to James has been wonderful. I feel very lucky to, as the quote says, have seen Paris through the eyes of childhood and of love. Officially, I can never complain about anything ever again. If you’re still working on finding your way to Paris, you can still fall in love with it through the words of some of the world’s most prominent literary figures. Paris In Mind by Jennifer Lee is only $15 on Amazon and it’s a good thing because my copy is absolutely falling apart from use.
Where We’re Staying – 2nd Arrondissement / Montorgueil
A lot of people have been asking logistical questions about our visit. Having never stayed (or spent much time) in this part of Paris before, I didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully, the location has proven to be outstanding. Our Airbnb is extremely cozy (read: the smallest apartment I’ve ever been in) but very affordable. The view is amazing and we feel like we’ve been living in a little Parisian dream. Our neighborhood is within a five minute walk to four different metro stations and our street – Rue de Sentier – intersects with the Boulevard Poissonnière which is absolutely teeming with cafes, restaurants, bars, and shopping. Five stars, would completely recommend.
Where We’re Eating
Rue de Petits Carreaux — This gorgeous quasi-walkway is lined with bread, fruit, cheese, wine, and coffee shops. It’s basically heaven and venturing further away from such tasty options available right outside our door has been a challenge.
Gallopin — We ate our first meal in Paris in this lovely brasserie. The steak tar tar and duck paté were outstanding. It’s also where this little gem of a photo was taken, proving that happiness and red wine are invariably the same thing.
Le Royal Opéra — When you’re wandering around the city center in unseasonably cold spring weather, stumbling across this warm, bright little bistro feels a bit like fate. Order up an open-faced sandwich and a cappuccino (leaving room for dessert of course) and take advantage of the free wifi.
I’m hoping we’ll have more recommendations, photos, links, and insight from our visit to share with you when I get the chance to write again. Until then, you can find me meandering through Paris shamelessly sporting a beret and munching on baked goods.
À la prochaine,