More than a year after visiting Paris, I'm finally getting around to writing about it. What is there to say about the City of Lights that other (better) writers haven't already covered? Orwell, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Joyce, Perec -- and now, me. So, in no particular order a few thoughts about this enchanting (?) place.
You will feel dizzy at the Louvre.
Not all Parisian food is good.
You will see a Frenchman with a beret riding a bicycle with a baguette under one arm. Do not take a picture of him. He will, in no uncertain terms, tell you to va te faire!
The crowd of tourists at the Louvre will dissipate somewhere between Liberty Leading The People and Raft of the Medusa.
Musée d'Orsay's collection will inspire you to brea
You can avoid long lines at the Louvre by entering through the mall at Jardin du Carrousel.
You will not realize this until you are exiting the Louvre.
It's perfectly normal to see a mouse in the restaurant in which you are eating.
It's perfectly normal to see a mouse in the Airbnb in which you are staying.
It's perfectly normal that a mouse will cut in front of you in line on the Métro.
Parisians don't believe in installing screens on their windows.
Everyone takes public transportation.
No one smokes while taking public transportation.
Everyone hates Montparnasse.
You can make a lot of new friends if you talk about how much you hate Montparnasse.
The Paris Pass is a worthy investment.
The Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is a beautiful architectural sight from inside. However, it smells like the makeup counter at Macy's.
It is really really really hard to get a good picture of Tour Eiffel while riding on a double decker tour bus.
You will, without realizing, begin to hum Edith Piaf's Le Foule after about the 4th day.
There is a writers group that meets every Sunday on the second floor at Shakespeare & Co.
Shakespeare & Co. is a lot smaller than you imagined.
It is really really really easy to have Parisians point and laugh at you while you ride on a double decker tour bus.
Thick skin is très necessary.
Somewhere along Saint Martin's Canal is a bar on a boat called The Centipede. Go there.
There is a writers group that meets every Tuesday evening in Saint Denis.
At least one writer will tell you he's writing something about bullfights.
It is very possible to walk into a bike rack.
Parisians will point and laugh at you when you walk into a bike rack.
There are no apparent yoga studios in Paris.
However there is Crossfit in Paris.
A writer from the Tuesday group used to date a writer from the Sunday group.
If you see a gang of children coming up to you with a clipboard near the Seine, don't talk to them. They are gypsies.
If you see a woman singing and breastfeeding on the Métro while riding to Châtelet, don't talk to her. She is a gypsy.
There is a Spoken Word reading series every Monday night at Au Chat Noir in Belleville. You will see the same writers from the Sunday group and from the Tuesday group.
The two writers who used to date won't talk to each other at Au Chat Noir. They will sit on opposite ends during the Spoken Word performance. They will stand on opposite sidewalks to smoke their cigarettes during intermission.
After about the 4th sample at Fragonard, all perfumes will start to smell alike.
Don't ask friends back home if they want you to bring anything for them from Paris. They will. And you will regret it when you have to pack up and check out by 3pm.
One artisan American chocolate chip cookie costs 4€ on rue Saint-Bernard. A bag of 22 Chips Ahoy! costs 5€ at Franprix.
There are three other Leonardo di Vinci paintings at the Louvre worthy of a selfie.
You can have a great meal for under 10€.
Your 6 years of off-and-on French language studies will get nothing more than a glare from the boulanger.
If you happen to lock yourself out of your Airbnb in Belleville without your phone, your wallet, or your French phrase book to help explain that you've locked yourself out of your Airbnb, you can speak Mandarin to get let back in.
Bits & Pieces
A place for experimentation, a place for pieces unpolished and unpublished, a place to work out thoughts and ideas for larger collections. Typos aplenty. Enjoy (or not).