Posted on July 12, 2009
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
–Ernest Hemingway, 1950
People tend to find Paris when they need it most. Yes, there was Hemingway who in the 1920s spent the day writing at a good café on the Place St.-Michel, punctuating his efforts with a dozen oysters and a half-carafe of dry white wine. But there was also Julia Child, who didn’t know a thing about cooking and eating until she enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu. It was at Le Cordon Bleu that Child learned to master the art of French cooking, and, in due time, taught other people – Julie Powell, among them – how to master it too.
There are countless tales like this, stories of falling in love, of finding one’s muse, of learning to truly live (and eat). I probably have a few stories of my own. After all, in my late teens I lived in Paris for a summer, and in two months I will return there for a much-needed week. The thought of this journey has me re-reading Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast,” investigating French language immersion classes and feeling a little bit (just a teensy bit) like Audrey Hepburn in the 1957 film “Funny Face”:
Yes, I love Paris and will be writing snippets about trip preparation and about the trip itself here. If you’ve been recently and know of a new, must-see place I need to see, or of the best way to make this trip with a toddler in tow…just anything, please let me know. In the meantime, I’ll close with this outstanding clip from the movie “Casablanca.” About a minute in, there is a visibly moved woman in white who at the end of the song shouts “Vive la France” with great vigor. I freaking love this lady, a. because she looks so overcome, b. because I think she actually slapped some dude in an earlier scene, and as a result c. I’m not sure whether she’s entirely reasonable (which must mean we’re distant relatives) . Anyway, right on, sister. Vive la France, indeed!