Saturday, June 29, 2013


What could be better than writing my 100th blog post on a sunny Saturday summer night in Paris?  Nothing.  I am blissful.  My legs are tingling from another long walk across the city and I have  market fresh paella waiting in the fridge with a chilled 5 euros bottle of rosé.  

For my 50th post in December 2011, I wrote a list of my 50 favourite things to do in Paris.  In honour of my 100th post, here is another list of 50 things - past and present - that make me happy in Paris!

Before the sun came out today
  1. Confiture d'abricot
    It was one of my first tastes of Paris in 2003 and I still want to smother its delicious stickiness on everything from tartine to sliced pieces of pear.

  2. A boulangerie on every corner

  3. The smell of the Tuileries Gardens in the summer just after it rainsIt's a mix of fresh clay, wet grass and flowers that soaks into your skin.

  4. Paris in the winter
    I visited Paris the first time in February and I have so many great memories of exploring the city in near emptiness.  I remember being at the top of the Eiffel Tower with less than a dozen people and drinking red wine from the inside of my down coat. 

  5. Knowing that after this summer, Chris and I will be one step closer to our dream of living in Paris

  6. The convenience and affordability of shopping at small, independently owned businessesI love the products, the quality and the care.  I love talking to the owners who are so knowledgeable and so passionate.  I love that there are three cheese shops within three blocks and all are thriving. 

  7. Sugar in my coffee
  8. The elderly husband and wife team who sell homemade ice cream from a tiny stand on the Right Bank side of the "love locks" bridge

  9. Chocolate with my coffee

  10. After so many trips, after walking the same routes dozens of times and seeing the same things that Paris' beauty can still move me to tears at least once a day
  11. Going to see movies, version originale, toute seule
  12. Monoprix has an apéritif aisle
    In this aisle you find peanuts, pretzels, miniature crackers and olives all to accompany your pre-dinner drink.

  13. Bridges
    Each bridge is different and each has its own history.  I like watching how tourists attach their own meanings, usually romantic, to the bridges and how Parisians storm over them as though every city is filled with bridges with views of Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur or the Eiffel Tower. 

  14. Outside living
    Smaller living spaces mean that people live and socialize on the streets and I love the noise and the energy.

  15. A different market every day of the week
  16. Walking along the banks of the Seine

  17. Eating falafel in the Marais on Sunday afternoons
  18. Magazine kiosks on every corner

  19. The moment Chris really fell in love with Paris He said it happened a few trips ago when we arrived at Place de la Concorde to admire the views.  I turned to him and said, "It never gets old, does it."  It wasn't a question and he realized that there was no other place in the world except Paris.

  20. Dogs galloping across the lawns at Champ de Mars
  21. Children dressed better than me

  22. Finally accepting, even I can't explain it, that Paris is home and there will be no substitute or no settling until we achieve our dream of living here

  23. Le Petit Cler

  24. A litre of Badoit costs less than a dollar

  25. That you can always find a quiet street in Paris
  26. I can buy Haribo everywhere, even from the vending machines at my métro station

  27. Walking everywhere
  28. Paris in the summerI was nervous about being here at the height of tourist season but the city is alive and there are so many wonderful, free things to do and see. Les Berges!  There was even a pop-up petting zoo at the end of rue  Cler today complete with a giant donkey and one, squealing piglet.  And Parisians are out just as much as tourists especially when the weather is nice.

  29. Being able to buy small amounts of delicious food so nothing gets wasted

  30. Saying "Bonjour" to the rue Cler Regulars every morning

  31. Chris and I drinking champagne at LV Avenue Montaigne

  32. The adrenalin rush of zooming through the streets of Paris in a Tuk-Tuk

  33. The radio station I listen to in Paris plays Wham's "Last Christmas" in June

  34. The book market at Parc George Brassens
    I love how peaceful it is and that it feels serious.  It smells like Paris park mixed with that lovely musty book smell and almost everyone talks in whispers. 

  35. Stray cats that let me cuddle them and scratch underneath their chins
  36. Produce that looks and smells like it came from the earth and not off the back of a diesel truck
    They don't look waxy or smell faintly of plastic.  I bought some apricots today and their scent was so strong it made my stomach growl.  Almost as seductive as perfume.

  37. Demi-baguettes

  38. Not feeling afraid

  39. Living two blocks from the Eiffel Tower and treating Champ de Mars park like my backyard

  40. French translations of English moviesThe best one so far has been "Hangover 3" translated into "Very Bad Trip 3"

  41. Spending time with people that love Paris as irrationally as I do

  42. Les Soldes
  43. Chris speaking French
  44. Living my dream

  45. Chocolate éclairs
  46. Writing every day and feeling excited and inspired every day

  47. Beauty is everywhere and learning to appreciate the smallest moments and the smallest details
  48. Eating slowly in a restaurant by myself
  49. Kissing Chris in front of the Eiffel Tower
  50. Chris arrives on Wednesday in ParisI wanted to save what I am happiest about for  last!  Both of us have been trying not to count the days until he arrives but it is so soon and I can't wait to be together in OUR city.

    PS - Please accept my apologies for the horrible formatting!  The bullet list option wasn't that user friendly. 


After Fifty / Sylvia said...

Congratulations on your 100th!
I love your list but the one item that struck me the most was #38. Not feeling afraid.
Fear is what's keeping me from taking the plunge, and it is reassuring to hear you say this.
How great that your love is meeting you in Paris soon, this is a city for romance without a doubt.
Enjoy and keep posting!

Erin said...

Hi Sylvia,

Thank you!

I expected to be more afraid here, less confident, but in Paris I feel my best self. Just something about this city. And every time I push through whatever is making me uncomfortable I am rewarded with another wonderful experience! It's a good lesson to take back to my real life in Victoria.

So looking forward to Wednesday and sharing Paris with Chris again. Enfin!!

Have a great weekend,