Paris. City of Light. I had not been there for years. The city was as magical as I remembered.
First, the light. Pure and heavenly. Every day was sunny and hot, and the Parisian sky intensely blue—in the middle of October. Parisians were delirious. So was I.
Second—the Eiffel Tower. I have always loved it. I always will. A muscular steel landmark during the day. A beacon at night. Sad to see it surrounded by barricades.
Third, the museums—many of the great old ones clean and sparkling. And some amazing new ones, like Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton, housing a panoramic and moving retrospective of Jean-Michel Basquiat—a quintessential American in Paris. And Tomas Saraceno at the Palais de Tokyo. Spectral spider webs dimly lit in very dark rooms, sound sculptures linked to giant antennae, galactic spheres and balloons. Scientific and political art. And Picasso, and modern art galleries, and some very creative outfits on the chic women of Paris.
Eating, of course. Many good meals. The best—outdoors, at Loulou near the Louvre’s pyramid, on a perfect night, watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle. Another good one—Tan Dinh, a Vietnamese favorite from the past. Delicious food, elegant wine, a venerated host and David Hockney at the next table.
Lots of lovely long walks. Something new and interesting at every step, including many curvaceous old buildings under renovation. Spectacular flowers in the lobby of the George V. Utterly different neighborhoods closely abutting one other. People of every origin striding purposefully about. Students at Sciences Po and the Sorbonne, vivid and opinionated and energetic, livening these historic spaces.
One fabulous treat—we were invited by a friend to see the workshops, in the Place Vendome of all things, where the craftspeople of Van Cleef & Arpels create iconic “high” jewelry. Incredible engineering, detail, color and creativity go into these pieces of wearable art. Months or years from design to completion. The zippers are the best! If I win the lottery…
But you don’t need to win the lottery to see Paris, and it will fill you with joy. So go.