Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Paris Tribute

Paris has singlehandedly enchanted more people than any other city in the world. I have permanently joined those who have fallen head over heels for Paris, and it came out of nowhere. I used to think it was overrated and cliche, but no more.

I recently finished reading Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon, where he shares life in Paris through the eyes of an American writer, husband and father. He explores French cuisine, fashion, culture, and observations on the differences between American and Parisian culture. Let me share with you the description of his favorite restaurant, the Balzar.

"The Balzar is a brasserie, which means that it is Alsatian in origin, serves beer, and stays open late. Over the years it has added a full dinner menu, so that it has become indistinguishable from a restaurant. For more than a hundred years the Balzar has been a family business, and each of the families has managed to keep it constant without making it stale. It's a one-story, one-room spot, small by brasserie standards---with only ninety or so covers---and has a glass front that looks out onto the street; you can see with one eye people boarding the number 63 bus in the twilight, and with the other a pretty little park dedicated to Montaigne, with plane trees and pink-flowering chestnuts."

Can't you picture yourself sitting there? Are you charmed just thinking about it? This book alone made me want to at least visit Paris, if not move there. Then, one of my favorite bloggers took a trip to Paris and is now posting pictures and describing its magic. Another of my favorite bloggers recently published a book on Paris -- she lives there when she's not living on her houseboat in Amsterdam. Seriously? I've also watched Julie & Julia (the new movie about Julia Child's adventure in French cooking) and French Kiss ('90s Meg Ryan movie). It's all too much. I simply can't help myself.

AND I wake up to this on my wall every morning:

I'm convinced it's the most romantic place. Parisians live life beautifully. The everyday bits of life are beautiful. I don't know how they do it, but they do, and effortlessly. *sigh*
I hope you find some inspiration to add some charm to your day. If you need a little more help, browse Haven in Paris and start planning your visit. 


  1. Are they as lovely on the inside as the outside? That's the question!

  2. Their simple dedication to less "stuff", simpler living and slightly altered work ethic that exempts them from the ulcers that ransack our society is enough to make them beautiful people. Mix in flawless architecture, centuries old cities and a Latin based language and it’s positively enchanting. My knowledge of Europe is grounded in the Western countries (Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Spain…) however over a very interesting dinner with an individual whom, I’m convinced has been everywhere, I was informed that Holland is Europe’s best kept secret!
    Food for thought: among the top ten economies in the world, Italy is something like number 6. But they somehow manage to work significantly less than the rest of us. I think they’ve got it figured out and are just not telling.
    We’ve got so many places to go dear friend!