think you know Paris.
Montmartre, and you know the Pompidou. You know where not
to eat in the Latin Quarter. You know about the fading daylight
falling on the waters of the Left Bank, you know how you can practically
hear the history marching through the boulevards, and yes,
you even know about that Tower, that ridiculous, incredible Tower
- never has there been a more timeless, powerful symbol for a
be said about Paris that hasn't already been fantasized, immortalized
on stage and screen, chiseled in the annals of time, and forever
ingrained in our romantic consciousness?
doesn't belong to the Parisians, or even to France. It belongs
to all mankind, and in many ways it is the capital of the world.
How many hopeless, lovestruck vagabonds have tried to learn French,
just to have the privilege of living in this city?
wears on you after a while, this constant bombardment of opulence
and elegance, this architectural and cultural overkill. On every
street, on every block, there's a building that would easily be
the most significant structure in most other cities. But here
sorry, no, I'm afraid it's just another five-hundred year old
has it that, during the Nazi occupation of Paris, Adolf Hitler
repeatedly asked the impassioned question, "Is Paris burning?"
It makes perfect sense for this question to be asked by the leader
of the Master Race - as long as Paris remained standing, the idea
of German superiority lacked any credibility whatsoever.
turn of the millennium approached, every city in the world launched
into a frenzy, eager to display their beauty and importance. But
Paris, the city where Jules Verne so eloquently dreamed, exuded
a stately confidence - it had always been the city of the future,
thanks to a bold appreciation for its past.
Paris is enough to break any romantic's heart. The streets, carved
by the whims of royalty and the blood of peasantry, constantly
remind you of its endless appeal.
that appeal which confirms what you've felt all along: not that
you want to come back, but that you will.