A New Yorker Dreaming of Paris
On BEST OF FRANCE: “le blog” today, the New-Yorker blogger Tracy Kaler recalls her first and unique trip to France, realizing that Paris and New York have a lot of common points after all.
I’ve been infatuated with France for as long as I can remember, even though I spent only one short weekend in Paris about 20 years ago. Long before I landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport on that chilly March day, I was smitten with the very thought of being in Paris and immersing myself in French culture.
Eating creamy fromage on fluffy baguettes. Quaffing champagne. Ascending the Tour Eiffel. Gazing at Notre-Dame. Strolling the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Browsing the Louvre. I had romanticized Paris much in the same way that people around the world romanticize New York City –– my home for the past eight years.
Just as a large chunk of the world’s population has an infatuation with life in New York, I have developed an infatuation with life in Paris. What’s especially fascinating for me –– the more I learn about the French lifestyle, I realize certain aspects of living in Paris aren’t too different from living in NYC.
Both cities are chock-full of stylish, passionate people. Parisians do those things that only Parisians do, and as a New Yorker, I can attest the same is true in NYC. Parisians have a few traits in common with New Yorkers too –– wearing black, loving coffee, sporting scarves, and shunning the burbs come to mind.
Some people say you can spot a Parisian a mile away, and in NYC, you can usually tell a tourist from a local (particularly when they wear tennis shoes and a Nikon around their neck). But I think the French have a way of living at a more relaxed speed, a healthier approach to city life, and one New Yorkers could inherently learn from.
Since our brief but magical encounter in 1994, I’ve had a desire to return to Paris for a longer, all-embracing trip. But, as we all know, life gets in the way, so I’ve yet to carry through with my travel plans. Perhaps the stars will align over the next year, and Paris and I will meet again. Until then, I’ll keep dreaming of the ‘City of Light’ from my apartment in New York City.
Tracy Kaler is a lifestyle and travel writer, and founder/editor of the popular NYC blog, Tracy’s New York Life. Tracy’s writing has appeared in Metro NY, BrickUnderground, Business Insider, Olive Oil Times, and other publications. She has a passion for all things French and resides on the Upper West Side of New York City.