“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
I’m feeling nostalgic today, friends. Take a trip with me, if you will, to Paris.
One of the grandest adventures of my life.
Let me show you a bit of it. Here we have a clip from the Borne Identity. Watch close now – about a minute in. Jason takes a turn down a staircase, turns right, makes a left, and there! Just there.
That’s my street. Quai Louis Bleriot. Quai meaning we lived off the bank of the river Seine. La rive droite, if you wanna get really specific. Right next to the mini Statue of Liberty – the tour boats would all turn round and round right in front of our house so all the tourists could get a nice shot of the Statue of Liberty with la Tour Eiffel in the background.
Back to the video now. One minute, five seconds. You’re right up on my garage now. That teeny tiny garage that had cement-walled stalls so small that in order to park our mini van, we had to all exit the vehicle (except my dad, who was driving), fold in the side mirrors, and open the back hatch so dad could crawl through the car to get out.
Now, go seven floors up. Up that tiny elevator that was so small that on that first day in the apartment we put our suitcases in there, one or two at a time, all by themselves, hit the button marked 6, which in France is the equivalent of the seventh floor in America, and raced up all seven flights of the spiral staircase to meet them at the top as the elevator door opened.
You there? Here’s your view:
This picture was taken from the balcony attached to my bedroom. Unbelievable, right? The Eiffel Tower is obvious, not to mention gorgeous. The Statue of Liberty is a little harder to see – it’s right above the “h” on the sign – that little blotch of green. Then there’s the river, in all its glory. And then in the very back, just to the left of the Eiffel Tower – Sacre Coeur cathedral. One of the more unique ones, in my opinion.
And I woke up to this. Every. Morning.
And I went to bed, watching it sparkle. Literally, sparkle. Did you know they have lights on the Eiffel Tower – like mini white Christmas lights – that sparkle for a few minutes every hour? That has to be one of my favorite memories of France – standing alone on my balcony, a scarf wrapped around my shoulders, high above the city, watching. Watching the sparkling lights, the lazy churn of the river, the stillness of the dead of night.
Details. The greatest adventures were in the details. It was the little things that made France into what it is in my heart. It’s the pain au chocolat we would pick up on the way home from school. It’s the bright green trash bags they have every few feet on the street. It’s the screech of the metro as it comes to a halt. It’s the chatter of the most beautiful language, right there, in your ear, every moment of every day. It’s the scent of a baguette, fresh as you walk into your corner boulangerie. It’s the scarves that adorn women everywhere. It’s the elegant shoes in the park. It’s the works of art that stand proudly in every open space.
Paris has stayed with me. Its details are unforgettable. They nestle inside you and take root, blooming into habits that have stayed with me all these years. Eating meat with my fork in my left hand. No ice in my water. A scarf as often as the weather allows it.
Adventures are in the details, my friends.