I love Paris. But just once I would like to visit when it is not hot enough to fry an ouef on the sidewalk. After our 2017 fun-filled adventure with Robin Spielberg and Larry Kosson—also known as the sweat your ass offtour de prance—during which time we bravely climbed Montmartre and cheerfully joined drenched throngs of tourists dragging themselves through the scorched gardens of Versailles—I swore I would never again enter a land-locked European metropolis between the months of June and September. All the Aperol Spritz cocktails in the world could not convince me otherwise. Figures that music would lure me back into the bronzed arms of the city that doesn’t sweat, it glistens. And maybe smells a little. Camembert, you might guess, doesn’t hold up well in the heat. Neither do I.
Whenever I visit Paris, I want to fall in love. I want to be enchanted. I want magic and romance and art. I crave the silvery slanted light that seeps over the horizon in late morning and hangs on to the edges of the city until sunset. If I’m not actually in the Eifel Tower I want to be staring at it from a distance, watching, in the early evening, as it sparkles like the world’s largest bottle of champagne.
I know Parisian food can be overpriced, French fashion can be overated, and snootiness often underscores daily life. I know politics in France leave much to be desired; racism and the nationalistic tendencies of some citizens pull on the already frayed sleeves of others. I know these things, but still I cannot look away from the golden patina of the city itself. The city glows. We walk through Paris in our somber black clothes, as if we’re trying to absorb a bit of the city’s smoldering blush. If only.
I’ve been to Paris seven times. Here are some jumbled notes from those visits :