After yesterday’s class I realised that I don’t think I’ve visited the left bank since the weather got cold. Possibly not since my friend D visited in early October.
Even in Paris, most of the expats I know seem to get into a rut – the only places I seem to go now are Saint Lazare, Les Halles, Belleville and Neuilly. So I’ve started being a tourist again.
Yesterday I visited Les Invalides and paid my respects to the Eiffel Tower before wandering around the 15th (I stayed in the 15th on my first two trips to Paris and, as we approach the
time of year when I was first introduced to this city, I’m constantly reminded of how she seduced me).
Today I went to the top of the Institute du Monde Arabe to enjoy the views of Paris and the Notre Dame, after which I strolled along the Seine. I looked through the windows of the restaurant boats, and a man offered me his hand to help me jump across a large puddle where the bank gets a bit low.
When I crossed Pont au Double, two rows of small, plastic cones lined the road and a group of boys were rollerblading. Their feet wove intricate patterns at incredible speeds – one of them was so talented he was basically dancing.
As a crowd gathered, they started playing salsa and house music and, on a sunny, cloudless day, it felt like it was summer again. People meandered along the river and Paris seemed more relaxed than she has been in some time.
The sun started to set as I walked down Ile Saint Louis and window-shopped, stopping to stare at small glass figures and gourmet delights.
I then headed to Hotel de Ville to watch people ice-skating on the rink they set up every winter. As the temperature dropped, people started to quicken their pace again, and I knew Monday was coming.
I swear – sometimes this city is so beautiful it makes me want to cry.