Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Paris, I miss you

This time last year, I was in Paris. The anniversary of the day I flew out came and went last week, and I find that trip haunting me in a way that few trips ever have. (One year ago today, my schedule included Notre Dame, lunch outside within sight of Pont St. Louis, where a few musicians were playing, a concert at Sainte-Chapelle, and a twilight walk home across the Seine. No wonder I'm feeling nostalgic.) I am homesick for a foreign city. This seems like as good a time as any to write up a list of some of the things I want do on future visits to Paris:
  • Spend a sunny afternoon in the Luxembourg Gardens with a book. 
  • On the summer solstice, hear as much of the music festival as I can. 
  • Stay long enough in the city that it makes sense to take a couple of weekend train trips someplace.
  • Visit a wine bar.
  • While away an afternoon people-watching and writing at a Left Bank café, and then do the same thing the next day at a Right Bank café for comparison.
  • Take more long walks by the river.
  • Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower on some gray winter afternoon when there's no one there and look at the city in peace.
  • Visit a flea market.
  • Rent a bike from Vélib' and ride through the streets of Paris.
  • Revisit the Musée d'Orsay now that the construction there is (I assume) finished.
  • Have a conversation with a Parisian that goes beyond "Où sont les toilettes?" or "Un comme ça, s'il vous plait."
  • Spend Christmas in Paris.
  • Visit Sainte-Chapelle on a sunny day.
  • Learn where to shop for ordinary things like socks and toothbrushes and cheap pens and spiral-bound notebooks. 
  • See some of the museums that were closed when I was there last year (the Musée Picasso, the Musée de l'Homme).
  • Visit more of the side streets, squares, gardens, and small museums that are off the tourist circuit. Enjoy the hidden treasures I find, knowing that I will never see them all.

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