Je suis une francophile.
I suspected this to be the case as I read tales of Paris, surveyed Parisian pastries in cookbooks, paged through coffeetable books on the Paris apartment, and studied fashion.
I wondered how the Paris of my imagination—which tends towards the overactive—would compare to the real Paris. I dreaded the thought of disappointment.
Paris, like all places, is not perfect.
Homeless pull mattresses under bridges. Gangs of scammers throng popular tourist destinations. Cafe fare is not vegetarian friendly. Graffiti lines the subway rails and buildings in some parts of the city.
Paris shows off.
Beauty and deliciousness and connection are revered. Old ways are observed, and one can easily find goods made in France with attention to purpose and appearance.
Paris knows that life is about more than clamoring for more.
Life is about savoring the moment, lingering for two hours at a cafe. Buying a baguette on the way home from work. Taking the elevator up to the roof to catch Paris' most famous icon sparkling in the distance, for five minutes, at the top of the hour.
So much beauty.
So much sparkle.
So much life.