Monday, May 25, 2009
ppps: Things I Will Miss
...you mean, besides everything?
1. People - lots of them - actually walking down the street with baguette in hand, just like in every cliché photo or film of Paris that you've ever seen.
2. The prices of the clothing in a shop window being printed neatly on a discreet card, saving one the trouble of going in and asking the price on a cute pair of orange sailor shorts ("les bermudas"), only to find out that they're 180 euros, global economic crisis or no global economic crisis.
3. The green metal lounge chairs at Tuileries and Luxembourg. Plop yourself in one of these babies with something to drink and a good pair of sunglasses, and you're set for the afternoon.
4. The restraint shown by bartenders when it comes to ice. In a New York restaurant, a tall glass of iced tea typically yields two or three sips of tea, and then you're left with a pile o' ice. At Le Fumoir, in contrast, my bergamon-mint iced tea lasted through my whole meal.
5. The signs in the Métro station letting you know how long till the next train. (And, yes, I am aware that this exists on the L as well, but the L is so dreadful in every other measure, including the length of time till the next train, that this doesn't count.)
6. The little plate of saucisson, or cheese, or olives, that comes with your drink at a café in the early evening.
7. The department stores. I really didn't even buy very much, but wandering through these gorgeous stores and looking at Saarinen tables and bolts of oilcloth and funky modern lamps and crazy café society hats and fab bags (one of which I am still thinking of, wistfully) and thin leather gloves and Missoni towels and Kenzo bedspreads.... Oh, mama. And then, of course, heading to the astonishing gourmet wing of each of these shops, and spending way too much money on treats.
8. The sky staying light till 10 pm.
9. Being called "madame," in that way the French have, where, for example, when you look at a salesperson, instead of saying "Yes?" questioningly, they state "Madame" decisively, which somehow to me implies, "I am absolutely going to solve whatever issue you have at this moment, even if it's just ensuring that there is a croissant in your near future."
10. Fresh butter, non-pasteurized cheese, chicken that tastes like chicken, croissants, yogurt from Monoprix with acacia honey from G. Detou, chocolate-covered pralined almonds from Les Chocolats Rive Gauche, eating whatever I damn well want to, calories and arteries and bathing suit season be damned.
11. Seeing the Seine every day.
Clearly, I could go on, but it's too, too tragic.