Paris, France It’s Not Just My Favorite City
Aside from my hometown of Lafayette; Paris, France is my favorite city and it seems like other people think as I do. According to Radio France Internationale the City of Light is Facebook's most "liked" city on earth. The French capital hit two million "likes" while the number two city on the list, London only had one million "likes". What's interesting is that only 335,000 of the "likes" came from French people worldwide.
I know some people hate Paris and I understand but from the minute I set foot there at Orly airport in September of 1969 I loved the city. Working at the American Embassy during the Viet Nam peace talks was a great job experience and living in Paris as a 22 year old was incredible! Working twelve hour shifts with 12 hours on and 24 hours off gave me plenty of time to wander the streets, visit famous sites and museums, eat my way across the food capitol of the world and of course practice my French.
Some people say the French are rude but I found when you are polite, try to use the language and observe local customs the French are like people everywhere...they are people.
For such a large city it's amazing how relaxed the pace of life seems to be. Plenty of crazy traffic, crowded subways (Metro), sidewalks and buses but the pace still seems slower than Lafayette. Maybe it's just because I had time to stroll about except for the times I was nearly late for work at 11:00PM because the party had just started.
Forgetting that the subways or Metro closes late at night unlike the New York subways that run all night could be a problem. Like the time I forgot about the lack of Metro service late at night and had to walk for a couple of miles to catch an expensive taxi ride home. But it was still a memorable experience and my French friends and coworkers at the Embassy got a big laugh out of it.
If we here in Lafayette are blessed with so much to do each week imagine what life is like in Paris. Music, theater, art, food, museums and more. There was always something going on. "Hair" the musical premiered just around the corner from my apartment. Bridget Bardot lived two blocks away (even though we had never seen her). Movie premieres were always occurring and filming of movies happened down almost any street including mine. We ate and drank in the same cafes, brasseries and bars that served Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Every morning I walked out of my apartment, looked left and walked towards the real Arc de Triomphe one block away with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Walking to work down the Champs Elysees one kilometer to the American Embassy I walked down the same street as Napoleon, Charles DeGaulle and liberating GI's in World War II.
As you see I have plenty of reasons to love the City of Light. Ten years ago I took Kathy there in the dead of winter and she was blown away with the city as I was many years before. We're planning to return sometime soon and spend more time on the Left Bank while working on our French.
I really like Paris...I mean I REALLY like Paris and can't wait to go back.