Paris, you’re always on my mind.
Close your eyes, and take a walk with me. The hour is 7:30am. Imagine a small Parisian street, still sleepy from the night before. The shops are closed, the cafes not yet filled. There’s a few people milling about, but mostly the street is yours.
Keep your eyes closed. Now, imagine you are sitting at an empty cafe, like the one pictured above. The strong smell of expresso tickles your nose as you sip. Signs of life are beginning to stir as more people appear, beginning the morning commute to wherever they need to be. But not you. No, you have the luxury of time. So you sit, and you sip your coffee, watching the city go through the motions of its morning routine.
As time slips away, you feel the urge to move. Not quickly, heavens not that. But a leisurely stroll up this street you’ve been watching so diligently. Shopkeepers are in the windows as you pass, sorting their goods for the discerning Parisian shopper. You catch the scent of fresh bread wafting out of a boulangerie, and your stomach growls. You’ll stop in for just a moment. Fresh pain au chocolate in hand, you resume your stroll.
You pass many things. An interesting old building that looks as if it were a castle tower in days past. More shops, more cafes. Suddenly, there is a park. A small patch of green, looking quite inviting on a quiet morning. So you sit, and you nibble on that pastry. And you sit some more. Until you decide, perhaps it’s time for more coffee.
You’re on rue Vieille du Temple, one of the oldest streets in one of the oldest arrondissements – Le Marais. I walked this street everyday. I had a friend whose apartment was adjacent to that park. Another friend of mine lived just a little farther up the street, near Filles du Calvaire. After 3 years, my life in Paris was synonymous with this street – this one, tiny path cutting through the heart of the 4th. I know that cafe pictured above. And when I close my eyes, I can go back. Take the walk I just led your through, and I can see it all again. So truly, Paris, you are always on my mind.