I had a lovely series of adventures on my journey, and some really memorable meals. I was looking forward to eating more than anything, and filling the time in-between meals with leisurely wandering around. Paris is really the most beautiful city I've ever been to. The weather was a bit gray (which is an excuse to shoot in black and white for me) but I usually try to go places in the off-season as to avoid queues for which I have no patience for.
I tend to not have much of an itinerary upon arrival, but I prefer to take it all in and choose my direction from there. I've been to Paris quite a bit and I'm just amazed and inspired by it every single time. I usually have a list of restaurants that I have to try before I die, and maybe some wines to seek out that I can't get in the States, and that's about it.
After a delicious little nap to help shake off the jet-lag and the general sate of bewilderment that hits me after a long flight, I was ready to start my trip off right, with a good bottle of Bordeaux to ease my way into French culture.
Le Marais has been long my favorite neighborhood and I tend to spend quite a bit of time there. It's a very old neighborhood that wasn't touched by Baron Von Haussmann in his quest for Grand Boulevards, but the streets are laid out much like they were in the 12th Century. It's a great place to get lost in...all those narrow, winding streets are an invitation for me to get lost on as there might be an exceptional patisserie or boulangerie hidden in there that needs my business urgently.
Now it has a thriving art, fashion and nightlife scene. My absolute favorite museum in the city is there- the Picasso- which is sadly closed for renovation until SPRING 2013! Really now. That's just too long. They did loan out the collection to museums all over the place while the renovation is going on, so I did catch a great slice of the collection at the Pompidou and at the Grand Palais.
The French refer to window shopping as "faire du lèche-vitrine", which is more like "window-licking". I did quite a bit of it while I was there. They do love their clothes there, and most window displays will catch even the most jaded passer-by for a moment to admire.
I will return tomorrow with a promise of more pictures. I took a great deal of them.