January 25, 2012

Ah, Paris, Paris: Why I Obsess

January and February are usually the months when I start contemplating my international escape - that is, of course, after I set my mind on an warm place for sun, beach and ocean in between...

I'm no stranger to the feeling that somehow, somewhat it's that time of the year again when I need to plan my next trip abroad, even if I just came from overseas a few months ago, and usually, but not always, I keep coming back to my beloved Paris...

Perfect place to people watch...
I can't stop being in love with this city. Every time I think about it, it gives  me this warm, fuzzy feeling inside, like it's the long forgotten motherland I've never had...

At some point I even thought that, perhaps, in my previous life I was a Parisian, I just can't really explain why of all the places I've ever visited and lived in, like Rome, Florence, Venice, Berlin, Madrid, London, Athens, Brugge, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Barcelona, Montreal, Mykonos, Seville, Dubrovnik, Hamburg, Quebec and so on - just don't 'do it' for me as Paris does? I keep hanging tight to Paris. 

Paris is the city to, seriously, blame, for the fact that I could have already visited five new countries in the last ten years, but because I keep going back to Paris - I never do. 

Deep down I also blame it on my mother, who, when I was growing up, and up until today, is very much in love with France and is fascinated by Paris. From the early age, I was listening to my mom's tapes of Joe Dassin, Dalida, Serge Gainsbourg, watching the likes of "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" and "...And God Created Woman" (Et Dieu... créa la femm), I was slowly getting hooked on France. Later, however, I developed my own 'affair' with the French culture, when I started to read French literature, listening to my own - modern for my age - music by Vanessa Paradis, In-Grid, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Zaaz...And I never ever miss any French movies that not only play in USA, but that I keep asking my French friends to burn for me off their "French" Internet portals. 

Neither do I miss American films made in France and/or about France, like the latest from Woody Allen "Midnight in Paris" - [actually, thanks to Allen, one can pretty much fall in love with any city he's filming in, because he has the ability to lure you in with his visualization of the scenery...]

Just as I know Paris...


So, let's just call it as it is - I'm obsessed with Paris...

Sometimes even now, when I talk to a French person, she/he is very surprised to learn that I know so much about France, French culture, French cuisine, French history - [not so much the language, though...] I just do, and I love it, and I just can't keep myself away from being fascinated with Paris.

So, the point of this blog is that it's that time of the year again, when I'm starting to day-dream about going to Paris again - [sorry Prague, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Singapore...] This is how my 'Parisian blues' usually start:

- I start browsing through the photos of my last trip to Paris;
- I start getting in touch with my Parisian friends via email, Facebook and Skype;
- I start checking out airfares online, signing up for travel alerts;
- I start listening to French music;
- I start watching French movies on my Netflix (the other day I saw Love Songs);
- I start going out to see new French movies;
- I start regularly check-in with my favorite French street-fashion bloggers;
- I start searching for films by Éric Rohmer (like it's not enough that I already own 5 of his films...);
- I start checking out BonjourParis - a great guide into all about Paris to see what's happening as of right now up to the summer;
- ...and, most of all, I start indulging in the idea of how again I'd be walking around my favorite streets, sitting at my favorite cafes, checking out my favorite museums and galleries, shopping at my favorite stores, conversing in very bad French with French waiters and artists, sipping wine on the banks of Seine, smudging soft non-pasteurized cheese over freshly-baked baguette, people-watching on green lawns of the Louvre...

These are the images that keep bumping up in my head as I think of Paris - some of the things that keep me on coming to Paris...

Paris never cease to amaze me: where else to see old, collective, European cars?
That's the reason I don't like suburban America, especially Texas...I'm in favor for everything small, including my obsession with city bikes!
One of my favorite things to do in Paris - sitting at a cafe, chairs of which always face forward as French are notorious for people-watching ...and sucking up the atmosphere. Oh, la, la
Loving how French are never in the hurry for anything...
Sunbathing on the lawns of one of the oldest castles in Europe - Louvre, anyone? Yes, please...
French wine, baguette, cheese and foie gras - all under 10 Euros
I love Parisians that they can be as stylish dressing for the Fashion Week, as they dress down for a stroll in the city..
I miss my fab Parisian friends..

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Last photo is against French law. Cigarettes must neither be promoted, nor photo can be published.

Alisa K. K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alisa K. K. said...

Actually, no one is promoting it. Perhaps you want to bring this issue to French Vogue's editorial, who often feature photos of smoking people? This is an image of one of my friend at a party...This is not an ad for cigarettes. I think you should just come down, because if I was promoting smoking anywhere in the text - that could have been considered a "promotion", but I don't talk about how "great" smoking is, do I? Neither am I living in France, am I? So no French laws apply to me either... Neither do you see me smoking, do you? The blog is a personal take of HOW I remembered my Paris - this is how I remembered one of my friends, the photo is even captioned with the text saying how I miss my friends. Do I say, I miss smoking in Paris? Not...