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Paris is a moment…

Sometimes that Parisian moment can last a matter of hours, a day, several months, a year, a few years, a decade…more…a lifetime or beyond.

What makes Paris so special? I think it is the moments that are spent here, that go fleeting by, and we try so desperately to grasp them and make them last longer then they do. We bask in this beautiful place, feeling like kings for a day, a month, a year, or more, and think to ourselves…how did we get so lucky?

My good friend Frank has come every year to Paris for the past four years, and his dream is to live here. He regrets so much having to leave every time, and I see the sadness set in on his lovely face every year, the night before he has to leave. He sits back with a brooding look on his face, biting his fingernails and ceases the constant stream of cheerful chatter for a bit while he wallows in his thoughts of despair at having to leave Paris. He puts off repacking his suitcase until the very last minute, he doesn’t even bother to check his flight time or flight number until ABSOLUTELY necessary. It’s a denial of the inevitable. His entire being wants to stay here. His soul is Parisian. I know he will someday make it here for good, especially if I have anything to do with it! But one thing that happens every Summer he visits me, is that I am showered with his incredible sense of passion and enthusiasm for this beautiful city, and country.  Four years ago when we met, it only took 30 seconds for me to fall under his exuberant charm. We were friends instantly. Perhaps because I saw in him that person I must have been ten years ago, when I first arrived here as a student. Every Summer he offers me a renewed and romantic vision on this city and a reminder of how lucky I am to live here. He helps me remember the reasons why I decided to stay and reminds me how wonderful it feels to find a place where I truly belong. Frank knows this very feeling.

Notre Dame

We spent his last evening here at the Péniche Six Huit, where we ate and drank simple things, nothing fancy, in the family run establishment just below Notre Dame, on the rive Seine. Lauren Cashwell (who has the very same passion for Paris) joined us, and as usual came packing her trusty camera, and proceeded to discretely record one of these simple Parisian moments that make up the life we live here. The moon was a big juicy golden globe hanging low in the velvet Paris sky, and Notre Dame loomed above us this ancient relic that has withstood it all, watching over us and this city  like a mindful parent. Always there, constant and reliable, unchanging (event though it has changed ever so slightly over the past one thousand years). Perhaps this is one of the things that draws us here…this aspect of constancy. We find ourselves returning to a moment in time, in our souls where we feel whole and almost perfect. We feel at home.

Frank et moi


  1. trop beau post ! j’ai l’impression de re découvrir la capitale ! Il y a tellement à voir et à faire, décidemment, j’aime me balader sur ton blog…

  2. A most fantastic post! I don’t know Frank, but I know how he feels. This will be my third annual trip to Paris in January and I try to hide my tears at CDG when it’s time to go home.

    I hope Frank finds a way to make his dream a reality!
    Sometimes, you just know when you’re meant to be somewhere.

  3. Such a great post, and I hope Frank finds a way to make his Paris dreams a reality. I was just trying to think if I have a “Paris moment”, and I realized that I don’t… I tend to live in “New York minutes,” where something really amazing happens and then *poof*, it’s over. I even travel that way, and I think that also creeps into my photography. I guess that difference is why some places feel like home to one person but never feel quite right to someone else.

      1. Have been back since my post. Stayed in Denfert Rochereau in the 14th, a new area for me having mainly rested my head in Grenelle.
        About as ‘untouristy’ as it gets. So nice to be a Parisienne!
        It does not matter how often you visit this wonderful city there is always something new to discover. If you want a bit of Parisien solitude the shopping mall under the Louvre is a surprising place to find it. The shops close at 8pm but the mall opens until 11pm ( although we got kicked out at 10.30 on our last visit) the cavernous area behind the shops has a fantastic ambience and a lovely place just to sit, I recommend it!

  4. Beautiful and evocative post which truly captures how Paris intoxicates and bewitches your soul and makes you want to stay forever. x

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