"What truly makes Paris beautiful is the intermingling of the monumental and the personal, the abstract and the footsore particular, it and you. A city of vast and impersonal set piece architecture, it is also a city of small and intricate, improvised experience... We love Paris not out of nostalgia but because we love the look of light on things, as opposed to the look of light from things, the world reduced to images radiating from screens. Paris was the site of the most beautiful commonplace civilisation there has ever been: cafes, brasseries, parks, lemons on trays, dappled light on bourgeois boulevards, department stores with skylights and windows like doors everywhere you look. If it is not so much wounded - all civilisations are that, since history wounds us all - as chastened and overloud in its own defense, it nonetheless goes on. The persistence of this civilisation in the sideshow of postmodern culture is my subject, and the life it continues to have my consolation. I see the moon these days from Paris because I once saw Paris from the moon."
Adam Gopnik, "A Family in France" from Paris to the Moon
Waking up to a classic Parisian view // Walking through the entrance to the Village St Paul // Majestic Notre Dame Cathedral // Nanashi also make good cake // That bloody tower // my favourite; the booksellers by the Seine // Locks on the Pont Neuf // Basilica of Sacre Coeur // Three delicious photographs from the Inez & Vinoodh exhibition at the Gagosian // A carousel and a by-gone era in the Tuileries // That vaulted ceiling of Notre Dame // What a view, baby, what a view.
It seems too futile to say it, when so many other have come before me, when it's so patently obvious if you take even a brief cursory look at this blog, when it's been said so many times that it seems to have been rendered completely meaningless. I love Paris. I love Paris. I love Paris. I love Paris because of Madeline and Monet, I love Paris because of my mum, I love Paris because of Isabel and Phoebe, I love Paris because it's the only city in the world that I can truly say and believe is beautiful - heartbreakingly beautiful - not just a cool hangout, not just somewhere to eat tacos and drink beers with friends, a place that seems to have emerged, fully formed, breathtakingly spectacular from the first flutter of the eyelashes, on screen and in books and in pictures and in magazines and in my mind, always in my mind, because loving Paris is like walking - upright and resolutely aware - in a permanent dream-state because it's just not possible for everything to be this beautiful and you must be dreaming for it to be like this because if it was real, if it was really truly real, how could you ever, ever think of leaving? Paris, you're the one (I know this now, more than I have ever known it before, I'm just sorry that it took so long). I'll be seeing you.