Thursday, December 30, 2010

I had a moment today

It wasn’t one of those acutely tender moments, but rather a long few hours of “Oh yeeeaah… I remember this feeling!”

It was sunny for just a few hours earlier and I hopped on a Velib to do some sweets reconnaissance. As I biked across the Seine, through Saint-Germain, out into the fifteenth arrondissement (to Des Gateaux et Du Pain and Pierre Hermé, bien sur), it was a beautiful reminder of my earlier days in Paris. When I didn’t really know many people or have any obligations. Every day was a bit of an indulgent and unknown journey. I’d Velib all over town, stumble upon cute new parks and shops, eat at multiple patisseries in a day, and fall a little bit deeper in love with Paris.

I always knew that phase was precious in its fleetingness. Once you know a city and develop a routine and relationships, time takes on its regular cadence. Tick tock. Tick tock. The magic and possibility, while still there, aren’t felt as strongly. Soon, they no longer tease and lead you to new sensations and experiences. Only because your heart, curiosity and eyes aren’t open as wide. (Which, I don’t think is tragic, but, rather makes the fleeting stage more beautiful.)

The past few months have been a social whirlwind. It’s been fun but frantic. And these past few weeks—planning and orchestrating a move, wrapping up work in the Paris office trying to connect with the New York office, Christmas shopping and traveling, cramming in dates with friends and visits to restaurants, researching and writing articles and the book—have been more hectic than ever.

So it was more than errands, more than a bike ride, more than a dash across town when I took off on the Velib today. It was a brilliant flashback to who I was, how I saw Paris, and all that I am taking home with me next week. (And I really needed that.)


  1. Sniff. I think those kind of long moments happen at the end of anything - a vacation in a place you love, at home before you leave for a long trip, the hours before you part from a loved one. In fact, some of my most clear memories of places and people are the ones that happen during those times of wide-eyed, trying-to-soak-it-all-in.

    You'll still blog when you leave Paris, right? Please say yes.

  2. Some Paris sunshine a bike ride before you go...sounds just about perfect. Happy New Year!

  3. Feeling all sentimental and happy/sad for you :)
    And I know that feeling you describe, when you start to know the place and everything starts to feel more ordinary.
    I think maybe, when you go home, places and things will have that "new magic" for a short while too... no?
    besos. C

  4. Happy New Year to you too, mes amies!

    I hope (and think) you're right, Candice: New York will have a sheen of newness and excitement after being away for nearly two years. It's going to be so different from life here in Paris, but it will undoubtedly be exciting.

    Amy, ooouuui, now that I have this little blogging addiction to go with my obsession with Paris, I'll still be posting. I'm not sure yet how and about what, but I know it will be one way for me to keep my connection to this city I love (and this modest little community on GILP :) ).

    Happy New Year!