Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Paris

The Paris I visit immediately becomes my own.

No other city takes hold of me and makes me feel a part of it the way Paris does.

Every time I have been to la capitale -- including one-day trips for work this year -- I feel at home there.

Is it me, or is it Paris?

It's been almost one week since I got back, and I'm still trying to decide.

30 comments:

tut-tut said...

Wow. What a great tableau. Where is that?

I've been to Paris exactly twice; as a college student and as an almost 50 year old, and I loved it all both times.

Alison said...

I know those lips!

And I know what you mean about Paris. I got to know it after I left my husband, so just within the past 4 years. I feel at home there, too. I feel in love and alive in Paris. Can't wait to go back and spend some time.

Nicole said...

That IS the question isn't it?

I fell in love in Paris once. The first time there ... the first time IN LOVE... Maybe the only time??? The second time I went... I think was the first time I was TRUELY me. I got to know myself. Understand myself. I felt at home.

I wonder...

spacedlaw said...

I like this Nikki de Saint Phale kinetic statue. Does it still stray tourists?

Betty C. said...

tut-tut: I just learned from another comment that it is a work by "Nikki de Saint Phale". It's near the Pompidou Center, on the right as you're standing on the big courtyard and facing the building.

Spacedlaw, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "stray" tourists. Attract or make them stray away? On a lovely Saturday April afternoon, I felt there weren't that many people there compared to other popular spots in the city.

Ali and Nicole, it is curious how we all feel at home in this big city that could be alienating. I wish I could define exactly how that feeling comes about.

Jann said...

It is both, Paris and you~there is a special magic in this city, around every corner and behind every door!I feel it as soon as I step from the plane-I can't wait to mingle and be a part of it all.......it is probably you, but then again , it could be Pars~ now you are making me miss it, too!

Sally Crawford from London said...

It's Joie de vivre: there is a humour about the French: their art; their food; the way they display goods in their shops - that somehow makes you glad to be alive.

I hope you get some of it in Rodez, Betty, not just in Paris.

Betty C. said...

Sally -- Well, um...it's pretty difficult to compare the two places, actually.

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Fabulous photo. I finally get to go to Paris next month...I can't wait!

katiez said...

Those lips remind me of the Dali museum in Figueres, Spain...
I hope you had good weather - but even in bad weather Paris is lovely...
We used to take annual trips to just wander around... I think we should start doing that again. Everyone needs a dose of Paris periodically!

French for a While said...

Yes, yes, I love Paris too. Might I was more interested in your Obama icon on the right. I'm with you!! We need Obama to win! I voted for him in my state Primary.

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

I feel at home there, too, and I've been there only three times. But it always seems as though I am coming home. Everything is how I know it will be, each time.

It is both. Paris enslaves you like no other city can.

Like a new lover, you cannot get enough of Paris. Each time I am there, it becomes harder to leave.

spacedlaw said...

Tourists are by definition strays but I meant "sprays" (since that is what the fountain used to do) and my fingers and the darker side of my brain have conspired to make the word something else.

Lavender Honey said...

There's something about Paris ...
Charming, liberating, beautiful.
Makes you want to grab life with both hands.

poppy fields said...

Me too, I love Paris. My bil lived right by those lips, so whenever we stayed with him, they were a daily sight.

Tinsie said...

It took a long time for Paris to grow on me, but grown it has. I totally understand what you mean when you say it makes you feel a part of it.

Love your photo of the Stravinsky Fountain :-)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Great picture! I want to kiss those lips!

La Belette Rouge said...

That fountain always makes me think of the "French in Action" PBS series. And, yes, I so agree about Paris. it feels like it is my soul home.

Betty C. said...

LBR, I just read everything going on on your blog and now that I read this comment, I say you MUST go to Paris. It will be a great place to "change your ideas" ("se changer les idées") as we say in French...

La Belette Rouge said...

We are seriously looking into it. If there is a way to make it happen we will get there. J'adore Paris!

F.O.T. said...

I love that feeling that Paris gives. It's so energetic and quiet. It becomes mine just as you say. Frankly, i'm not sure if I would like to live there 100% of the time or keep it on a part-time basis. Who knows!

alisa in Los Angeles said...

I love Paris too, the first time I visited I actually felt like I had been there before, was very comfortable. The second time, same feeling, we stayed for a month and rented an apartment and just lived day by day, it was lovely. 3rd time, same thing, another month and another great time. We are not big on seeing all the tourist attractions, would rather wander in the street, sit at a cafe and draw & write and we even went on an excursion to pickup this honey this famous bee keeper. We wanted to spend 2 months there before we start our sabbatical in the Midi, but the person we know that has an apartment there (which we would stay for FREE) sold it, so it was just a bit expensive, plus with the dogs it would be hard to find a place...so we'll have to take the train up for long weekend. Thanks for the great lips!
I agree with "French for a while"...go OBAMA...but please tell his preacher to zip his lip!

Sally Crawford from London said...

Ah, then, it's intellectual stimulation you lack . . .

start a school in Rodez.

(You must have read 'Villette').

b said...

I feel very much the same in Paris. It is truly an immediate and powerful feeling, taking hold of me effortlessly and wholly. I can't even comprehend what this upcoming month there will do to me!

Betty C. said...

Sally -- I work in a school, actually (higher education) and that actually does give me some intellectual stimulation, but that may not be enough. As proof, I can point out that I haven't read "Villette" and you will have to explain your reference, lol!

Terina said...

paris seems so far away from where i am right now. i have reminders of france all over my home, but it just isn't good enough. i love love these pictures!

Sally Crawford from London said...

This is a nice dialogue diagnostically speaking (no charge).

Well, it's art, then, you need (there is only art).

I work in publishing (plenty of i.s.) but little Creativity (note the cap).

I am therefore planning to start an e-commerce arts business as a relief from the above (one has to do something; in addition, one is the one who has to do it). :))

Villette: I probably read it at school when we were doing the Brontes (it was written by Charlotte).

Now I've got the dramatized adaptation (Lisa Evans, Oberon Modern Plays).

It's part autobiographical (as was J. Eyre): Charlotte left her native Yorkshire and became one of the first young women of no particular fortune to travel abroad to work (France in the book but in reality Belgium), first as a teacher coping with fierce headmistress and a clutch of coquettish schoolgirls, then having her own school. She called the anonymous small town Villette.

Did you manage to read the article about (the art of) rhythm I blogged about a few days ago?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/19/healthandwellbeing

Here is one little quote:

'Since taking up drum lessons a couple of months ago, I've got a spring in my step that can only come from saying to hell with it and doing something purely for its own sake. I'm also more alert, more energetic and, to be honest, almost pathetically glad to be living the dream at last.'

Of course as a (managing) editor (and as a teacher you might recognize this) I'm an expert at fixing it for everyone else; need to get a bit better at fixing it for myself.

Betty C. said...

Paris definitely stirs up a lot of emotion and commentary.

Personally, I think I need to get up there several times a year. There's a night train from Rodez, and it's really not all that difficult to spend a weekend there.

What's stopping me?

Family, responsibilities, routine...

StyleSpy said...

It might be you, but it's also me. (So maybe it's just Paris.) I don't think I've ever felt as at home anywhere as I do there.

P. J. Grath said...

I agree with Jann: both Paris and you. It's that way for me, too. The first time I was planning a trip, someone told me I would hate it, that people were rude, etc. I said, No, I will love it, and everyone will love me, because I will be so happy to be there. Just remembering and seeing the pictures brings back that happiness. Thank you, Betty, from the bottom of my francophilic heart!