Paris at midnight in the snow
Paris. Je taime Paris.
I came out of the wrong terminal and wound up in the middle portion of the Paris airport. I wasn’t anywhere the taxis were and had to walk all the way around. I rolled, shoved, pushed my suitcase through the banquets and realized that the crunchy sounds wasn’t tiny pebbles but snow. It’s snowing in Paris.
The taxi man approached me and I was speaking in English and he was speaking in francais and we kept talking back and forth as though we understood one another, but neither of us had a clue. He drove out of the airport and to St. Germain area of Paris.
What a city. I kept thinking of all the great films made here, and how so many classic actors made their homes here. I want to go to the Ritz and see where Audrey kissed Cooper in Love in the Afternoon, I want to go where Kelly danced on the streets of Paris, where Nin wrote, where Astaire danced. So many movie clips were playing in my head. Even the more modern Before Sunset.
The cab driver was either lost or he was giving me the scenic route. I felt like every young American girl, in every typical American story. I had the windows down, and the freezing wind blowing on my cheeks, and I was snapping my camera at every given second. I saw the Notre Dame steeples from so very far away, because the lights had been illuminated all the way around the church. Suddenly to my right, I saw the Arc de Triumphe, and then we drove across the Seine, and then to my hotel room.
I just teared up. Going to Paris was always a dream come true. Always. I checked into my tiny hotel room. Washed up, and headed out onto the streets of Paris. I had to see the Notre Dame again. So I walked down the street, through a boulevard, and down a pathway. Every corner had a scene. Every street corner was inviting me to explore. There are roads for little roads, for smaller roads.
As I started to walk out of my hotel room, the snow started fall and kiss my face. Bits of snowflake tapped on my cheek and kissed my lip. I was not only seeing Paris, hearing Paris, smelling Paris, but now I had a taste of Paris too. Snow. I looked back and found my boots making footprints in the snow. Liz was here. Liz was in Paris.
I turned down a corner and found an avenue with some of the most beautiful churches. The church steeples stick out over the rooftops and create such a majestic sky line. The remind me of a league of Roman Catholic priests wearing their adornments around a round table. Some of them are so dilapidated, and others look so enormous for the space that they are located. On one corner was a restaurant title le restaurant de poisson (sp?) for seafood, and there was a fish market right on the corner of the eatery. A bit further down the road there was a dessert shop and they were making fresh crepes on the street. Finally I saw this gorgeous café on the corner of Rue Boucheron with red canvas coverings. To my left was the illuminated Notre Dame Cathedral. This was the spot. The place I would have my first dinner. I sat there as a beautiful blonde Frenchwoman sang her heart out to the English tunes of Hit the Road Jack and other hit US tunes. She would also sing those all to famous guttural French tunes, and sang the French Happy Birthday song to a group of gals sitting at a table near by. As I sipped my espresso, and waited for my entrée the waiters kept wizzing by with sparkling desserts. There were sparklers in each dessert, and it looked like New Years. I had to order one! I just had to. So I ordered my crème’ brulee and took in the sights.
When it was all over, I walked across the Seine River and had a moment. Just looked at the river rolling under me. In the far corner was a gentleman walking his dog. On the opposite end was a girl running down the steps towards the pathway. And then there was me. I became a part of Seine history. Then I took a snowy night stroll over to the Notre Dame. I didn’t see Quasi, but I saw some of the most amazing stain glass architecture in real life. I keep thinking about all the history books and art history books that would mesmerize me. The great pieces of man made art, and now I have had the privledge of seeing the real thing. No this isn’t Epcot Center. No this isn’t a Universal Studios lot. This isn’t a French neighborhood in sometown USA. This is Paris. Paris, Franc y’all.
Pinch yourself Liz, it’s Paris!
Let’s see what tomorrow has in store!
Check out my photos on flickr to see some of the nights adventures.