Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Things I miss about Paris

Life is good. No doubt about that. I love New York. I’m traveling. The book is doing well. But then sometimes Paris will cross my mind and it’s like a punch in the gut: startling, furious, making me want to laugh, cry and vomit all at once.

My first year home, lots of people asked what I missed most about Paris. But truthfully, I was so happy to be home, getting reacquainted with American pleasures like Whole Foods and Ben & Jerry’s and New York hangouts like Joseph Leonard and City Bakery, that I didn’t feel like I was missing Paris.

Now that I haven’t had a dose of the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) in nearly six months, I’m going through certain withdrawal. Yearning. Daydreaming. Weepiness. It’s embarrassing, I tell you.

When I think of Paris, my other city, it is these things I miss most:

• Velibing - Especially in the dark, quiet streets of the Marais at night. No, especially through the beautiful Place de la Concorde. No, especially as a way of commuting.

• French – The language. Just hearing it. Speaking it. Being comfortable with it. I’m losing it.

• Salades chevre chaud – Mmmmmmm

• Luxembourg Garden – Not that I used to go all the time. But the bright green grass, the heavy lawn chairs, the petanque and ponies… taking it all in while nibbling a snack from Pierre Hermé… oui, I miss it.

• The many splendid shades of brown, taupe and grey.

• My friends – Oh, the irony. I missed my American friends from home so very much during my two years in Paris. But now it’s all those beautiful people who became new, dear amis that I miss seeing and talking to.

• Rue Montorgueil – What I wouldn’t do to wake up this Saturday morning and be able to pop over for an Eric Kayser baguette, Comté from La Fermette, fresh apples and a pain aux raisins from Stohrer.

• The canal and all its flotsam and jetsam.

• Sitting up in my treehouse late at night, blogging about the day's adventures.


  1. This list makes me miss Paris for you.

  2. You never lose the language - don't worry! You keep it in your heart and it comes back when you need it.

    x Milsters / Little Pieces of Light

  3. We (a collective we, me and the city) miss you terribly too. Already imaginging our coffee and pastry date on Montorgueil!

  4. I am with you and with the same timelines. My first year back I didn't "miss" Paris much, but I have been back 5 now and if I don't get to Paris at least once a year I am devastated, six months is about as long as I want to go and I don't always get there twice a year and I suffer!

    1. it's been 6 for me and I've been back countless times since (always too short a trip). rue montorgeuil was my favourite street since I lived near there. thankfully I'll get another dose of sweet Paris in a few weeks!

  5. I am right there with you. I want to hear French, speak French and go to cafes with my friends who are still in France. The second I got off the plane home I wanted to turn right back around!!
    But reading blogs like yours and writing my own keep it all close. we will beback there!!


  7. Thanks Gawd I'm leaving in about 14 days
    Must go mark off today on the calendar

    I miss:
    all the dogs,Carrefour,all the yogurts,the no-name corner patisseries, walking at nightime,the BUS!,looking at maps all the time,
    the big department stores, FAUCHON, the lines, the angst from the lines...
    the list is too long...

  8. And this is the topic for your 2nd book, Amy. Always homesick for one place or the other.

  9. I hear ya! We went five months between trips and it was torture!

  10. My list is a mile long! I miss the photo opportunities on every corner, and everywhere in between, the Metro, Tuileries, cafes in the afternoon having wine, hearing the French language 24/7, the shop windows.....
    sigh. Now I'm homesick too.

  11. "...making me want to laugh, cry and vomit all at once."

    Too right! When I think about that city I once lived in, I want to do all those things too. I'd also like to add that when I think of Paris, I want to punch it and hug it at the same time.

  12. "But then sometimes Paris will cross my mind and it’s like a punch in the gut: startling, furious, making me want to laugh, cry and vomit all at once."

    Wow, how very true that statement is! Its been 6months since ive been back home, and the thought of not knowing when i will again return kills me! God, how i miss Paris!!!

  13. We miss you here in Paris, Amy! I am very much looking forward to a sweet date in New York, though. I feel like I don't know my other love anymore. I know you can help reintroduce me ;)

  14. Paris is so magical....A little stroll in Montmartre or near the banks of river Saine...I miss it so much.

  15. Paris will always be Paris with its beautiful places to visit and good restaurants.

    I invite you to visit the site Trivago travelers through this link http://www.trivago.co.uk/region.php?path=36103&pagetype=attractions&f_186=1&name=paris

    And can share the savory flavors like sweet restaurants ...

  16. I feel like you should be singing "Someone Like You" to Paris. Ha ha. At least you live in NYC and aren't quite as far away as me (living in SLC, UT).

  17. I lived in Paris for a year and moved back to San Francisco last summer... This post makes me feel like I'm not alone. I have a literal kind of pain in my chest (although it may be the endless American burgers) when I think about Paris. I can't come to terms with the fact that it came to an end. When I left, I think I balled my eyes out for a good 5 days, I cried like someone in my life had passed away, I felt so selfish to feel that kind of pain for a city, but I couldn't help it the tears kept rolling. When I was in Paris I was so sick of hearing French that I would follow an American or English when I heard them speaking, but now I am yearning to hear French. Those late night walks, the cold, the sunsets, I miss it all. Glad that I am not alone! (Also glad I found your blog from LostInCheeseland).

  18. I fell in love when I went for a visit for the first time in March 2012. The only way I could force myself to get back on the plane back to US was to keep telling myself that I'll be back every year. Well, this year I chose to visit Spain and skip Paris and I regret it do much! I know there are other beautiful cities in the world like Rome, London, etc. but there really is something about Paris. It has a very delicate, elegant, relaxed feel to it. The French were soo nice that I dint see how they got the reputation if being mean. I really loved it and I've now I'm harrassing the airline to make changes in my ticket so I can squeeze in a few days in Paris. What was I thinking in skipping it!

  19. i used to live in paris. i moved to france in 2007, lived in normandie for 2 years, then paris for 3 and a half years. here's the main reason i love it: its nostalgic for me. i live in massachussets now (which is hard for me, before france i lived in california and it is cold here) and i am 14 now. starting school is HARD, kids are alot worse here, and i hate it. i miss paris alot, its bright, full of color, interesting people, places, restaurants, and my old house was all just great! best thing about living there is that:
    1) i speak french fluently
    2) i am very open minded, i hate stereotypes and i go out of my way to destroy every last one of them.

    and oh, i cant stand how much i miss it. i am very glad someone shares my pain. i hate it here, and i love, LOVE it there. please dont think i am stupid for being young. i really am 100 times smarter than every american kid i have met, and i miss my old school in paris called isp (international school of paris) people were open minded there, interesting, and nice, too! great article. i love you, Paris.

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