Oh Paris. How I miss it so! Christmas is creeping up on me and I can't help but wish for some of the wondrous holiday delights that gay Pairee had for me! The chocolat chaud. The mulled wine. The giant servings of churros, and saucisson, and smoked salmon at the Christmas fair. The smell of roasting chestnuts and urine when coming off the metro. It brings a tear to my eye.
But it isn't just Christmas that I miss about Paris. I, cheesily enough, miss my friends most of all. I haven't been woken up once with a hot cup of whiskey tonka coffee under my nose since I no longer live with Elze. I miss her insistence that I "goute! goute!" the coffee while I smelled and eyed it skeptically, trying to detect just how much whiskey she had doused it with. Nothing quite like Paris with friends.
I, undoubtedly, miss the food of Paris. And when I say food I mostly mean pastry. Of course I miss the bread and the cheese (oh the cheese!), but what I really miss are the large amounts of fabulous, mind blowing, awe inspiring pastries that practically overflow from Paris's streets. Now that I am back in Denver I hate to admit that I took for granted the number, proximity, and quality of pastries in Paris. I was only a short walk from Jacques Genin for heaven's sake! And while I may work in one of the top dessert establishments in the city, there's nothing quite like a Parisian Patisserie. They are like walking into an art gallery, yet not only can you touch the goods, you can eat them, too! No macaron on this earth tops Pierre Herme. No chocolat chaud will ever be better than the ones I sipped at Jacques Genin. And I would happily sacrifice all of February just to have a Poire Muscovado Tarte from Des Gateaux et Du Pain. And let's all be honest, if you're eating a croissant outside of France, you are most likely missing out.
Of course there is always the beauty of Paris. Paris has an elegance and glamour about it that is so tangible yet illusive (quite French of it) that it's like being in a dream. The old architecture and buildings drenched in history that I never learned or never remembered. The cobbled, winding, flyaway streets that were so easy to get lost on. The bustle of Parisians dappled by baguettes shooting up from random elbows. All of Paris seems to wrap itself around you in a whirl of aesthetic expression. And eventually, after living there for seven months, I felt that somehow the city had let me in, if only a little. It became my home.
I feel lucky for all the time that I spent there, for every pastry I ate, and for the incredible group of friends who still feel so close to me though they are scattered all across the earth. Paris is a magical place, and while I may have bitched and moaned and complained a lot, not so deep down I knew I has having the time of my life.