Perhaps We Could Make Paris Perfect?
My daughter arrived from New York yesterday to spend two months in Paris and travel in Europe before moving into her West Village apartment scheduled to close early June. It was the first time she had seen the transformation of the apartment in which she grew up — a coming of age of what I fondly called the decor as “Early Divorced.”
She was duly impressed and couldn’t wait to unpack her trusty photographic gear to record it for posterity in a manner she thinks it deserves, noting that the shimmery couch would make a perfect spot for fashion shoots! Uh oh. I can see it now — “Hotel Leeds” is about to become “Studio Simone!” Help!
Walking to dinner last night with her and an old friend and colleague who has been visiting (Hotel Leeds) for the past two weeks, she exclaimed, “Yeah! I’m in Paris!” Even though she knows New York is where she needs to be to jumpstart her career, Paris is still home and will always be the perfect antidote to New York. She loves New York, but says it’s necessary to balance life with quieter, more elegant, more beautiful, more romantic Paris.
Who can argue? The regular visits of friends helps keep us from becoming too jaded…too habitually used to the beauty that surrounds us at every turn. They see the city with virgin eyes and illuminate the details we may have lost in the process of living here day after day. When you’ve been in Paris as long — now more than 13 years, it’s easy to think of this lifestyle and soft-toned backdrop as totally normal — what everyone must be experiencing.
But, we know that’s not true. And not everyone would be happy fighting Paris weather (never leave home without your umbrella or sunglasses) or maneuvering the French administration (nothing could be more cumbersome and frustrating!). We, who endure it, have traded these imperfections for what seems like a richer existence.
It’s difficult to describe what that means. The beaut
y alone makes life richer, but so do the endlessly fascinating relationships we make, the overabundance of cultural things to do, the profundity of all things French that would take a lifetime to discover…and we never get enough of.
While my friend and colleague, Marcia Mazria, has been here, who is a long time resident of Los Angeles, we compared notes: Paris-L.A.-Paris. Two cities couldn’t be more different. She lives near the ocean and loves the warm breezes. It’s a part of the California lifestyle I duly miss — the sun, the surf, the warmth, the casual viewpoint on life…
If only we could import a bit of that to Paris, perhaps we could make it perfect. Or would it really?
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. We’re going to be on House Hunters International! See the episode “Settling Down in Paris”: “Angela and Ben met in 2003 when they lived in Los Angeles working for the same clothing company. Now, the two are engaged to be married. When Ben started receiving frequent overseas work, the company believed he’d be more valuable in Paris, so they happily relocated. They immediately moved into a cozy rental in the 17th district near the Arc de Triomphe and started to explore the different neighborhoods of Paris. The pair is now ready to take the big leap and purchase an apartment to stay for good. Property consultant Adrian Leeds is enlisted to help.” AIR TIMES: April 04, 2008 10:30 PM ET/PT, April 05, 2008 2:30 AM ET/PT, May 05, 2008 11:00 PM ET/PT, May 06, 2008 3:00 AM ET/PT. Visit http://www.hgtv.com for more information.