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Paris, city of lights

After spending our “pre-wedding honey moon” in Paris in 2011, we had a chance to discover for ourselves why the French capital is known as the “city of lights”.

Believe it or not, one of our highlights while spending a month in deuxième arrondissement in Paris was to see “Midnight in Paris” (directed by Woody Allen) in the UCG Danton theatre in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The cinema was, oddly enough, featured as a postcard view at the beginning of the movie, so it felt like we were part of the movie! Inspired by the film — and trying to avoid the hordes of tourists searching for “Paris in love” — we decided to drink lots of wine and hunt for the “time gate” that would transport us to 19th century Paris just as the protagonist in Woody Allen’s production had done with much success and much adventure.

Unfortunately, we reckon that we did not drink enough wine as we never did meet up with Gertrude Stein, Picasso or Hemingway. Nevertheless, we still did create our own fun memories while wandering around the arrondissements of Paris…

We have done the big ones: Louvre and saw Mona Lisa from beyond the crowd, saw Notre Damme and Sacré Coeur, and visited Centre Pompidou, Rodin Museum, passed by multiple times by Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe and many, many more…

But truly, the most memorable was walking in the rain over the bridges and getting lost in the maze of little streets. Also remarkable was the fact that Kai has decided to propose under the Eifel Tower right before we have climbed it (heart emoji). We loved the tango dancers by the banks of Seine River. Eating escargots, meeting friends (one of them even crashed in our 17m2 pad with us for a few days), browsing books in Shakespeare and Company, visiting art stores, especially Magasin Sennelier (I still have some left over oil pasters from there).

We had watched the Bastille Day fireworks from the roof (or rather chimney) of our “Sixième étage” (another good movie to see, especially if you are studying French) logging. It was the cutest 17m2 I have seen. We have climbed the window in the roof to get there and sat like two little cats observing the sky.

In our neighborhood, we had a lovely farmers market and a couple local butchery shops where they started recognizing Kai after a week. We were getting from there our provisions and enjoying summer. I was painting watercolors, Kai was studying French. We were on our way to Dubai and to my biggest life adventure: marrying Kai. That summer we have hopscotched Eurpe, US and Canada, with final destination: Dubai. We had attended many weddings that summer: Toronto, Varese, Monterey Bay, but kept ours to underwraps, and we did get married on a dream island: Manhattan, with one witness during his lunch break. We were broke and nervous what future might bring. In retrospect it must have been the most amazing summer of my life.

Below are some night scenes in watercolor inspired by our journeys along the streets of Montmartre and other areas of Paris.

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