An American in Paris: My Favorite Things

Just one example of things I have found while lost in Paris. | Photo by Annie White

It has occurred to me that despite having written six blogs about Paris, I have not expressed any of the things I actually like about being here.  So despite the fact that complaining is one of my favorite things to do, I have decided to dedicate the next four hundred words to the City of Love’s abundant charms.

Perhaps the most obvious advantage Paris has over the other places I have lived is the food. In Boston last year, I developed a minor addiction to frozen chicken pot pies. They cost way more than they are worth, almost certainly contributed to my future heart attack, and they aren’t even that good.

In Paris, I eat fresh bread every day and buy vegetables from the market on Sundays. And if I feel like I need something that didn’t come out of the ground, I can go to the corner bakery and get the decadent pastry of my choosing. Today I rewarded myself for existing with a Religieuse, which is a massive profiterole with a delicious chocolatey filling and a macaron on top. I have my eye on something called a “Dome Chocolat Caramel” for the next time I hear the call of the Patissier.

I have also developed a great fondness for Nutella crêpes, which are served all the time but are best appreciated, in my experience, at two o’clock in the morning right before hopping on the Metro to go home. I have put serious thought into buying a crêpe griddle for my apartment next semester, just so I don’t have to give up this vice when I return to the States.

Paris’ metro system also far surpasses that of any other I have experienced. In Detroit, we have the People Mover, which goes almost literally nowhere and has been empty every time I have looked up at it from my car. In Boston, there is a good chance on any given day that an infant could crawl from West Campus to CAS faster than the T could get there. In Paris, I have never had to wait more than six minutes for a train. Better yet, there are Metro stops placed evenly throughout the city, so even when I am completely lost I know I will eventually find a train that will take me home.

Which brings me to my last favorite thing about Paris: I get lost just about every time I walk out my door. I realize that for some people, this would represent a horrifying lack of control over their lives, but I quite enjoy the accidental discoveries I have made this way, and there is nothing as nice as wandering around a beautiful city all day not worrying about where you are going.

Actually, one more thing. This week, I was walking around the Latin Quarter late at night and there was a group of young men standing in front of a bar, all of whom had just peed on the sidewalk my friends and I had to walk across. As we walked by, they sang, in unison, “Elles marchent dans la pipi” (They’re walking in the pee), which was, to me, hilarious enough to make the fact that I was walking through fresh urine slightly less disgusting.

About Annie White

Annie is a senior in CAS studying political science.

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