Friday, October 17, 2008

Same Place, Different Time

Springtime in Paris is legendary. It's the time of year when love is in the air, flowers are in bloom and the city is supposedly on its most charming behavior. After spending the past spring in Paris (and naming my blog after the mythical season), I can happily confirm that, yes, it is a great time to experience the French capital. But I'm still not entirely convinced it's the best time to experience the French capital. In fact, two weeks of Autumn in Paris have led me to believe the city actually shines brighter on this side of the calendar, shortening days notwithstanding.

With the humid, heavy air of spring and summer blown away by crisp fall breezes, Paris finally comes into focus. I feel like I can actually see the city more clearly. Stunning architecture simply pops; at night, the City of Lights shines brighter than ever. Cool air is better for another of our senses: smell. Like any big city, Paris takes on an unpleasant odeur as the temperatures rise, while more appealing scents of falling leaves and hearty, home-cooked meals fill the autumn air. Parisians themselves look more at home in the fall than they do in the spring. I remember a couple of weeks in early May when summer-like temperatures made their first appearance...the locals just weren't very good at pulling off that whole bright colors, exposed skin, sandals look. Ah, but put them in long coats, chic scarves and classically tailored pants (all black, of course) and boy are they stunning! Yes, sitting out on a terrace and sipping a glass of wine on a sunny spring day is a perfect way to pass the time, but so is cozying up inside a warm cafe while sipping a cappuccino. Not to mention the food. Filling french classics like Boeuf Bourguignon, tarte aux pommes, and my favorite, fondue, are perfect accompaniments to autumn.

Don't get me wrong, spring was a fabulous time to be in Paris. Between the bountiful markets, late night strolls and picnics in the park, I wouldn't change a thing. Besides, Parisian Fall sounds like something that happens to women wearing high heels in the metro. Not exactly the blog title image I was going for. However, if you've yet to experience Paris in September, October or November, you're definitely missing out. Got an inkling to meander the Champs-Elysees but waiting until spring to take that flight? Don't! Hop on a plane and wander Paris' century old streets now. Autumn in Paris might not be legendary, but it's definitely classic. Don't forget to pack your chicest warm scarf.


Nomadic Matt said...

maybe u should change the name of the blog to parisian autumn? :)

Lola said...

Parisian Seasons maybe?

Spring is my favorite time of the year. Something about rebirth, freshness, budding blossoms, and being born anew appeals to me.

Tanya said...

Matt: Thought about that...:-)

Lola: And I think this is partly why Paris in the springtime is thought of as so magical, because there is freshness and rebirth. I've always been a fan of summer, myself. The hotter the better!

NewWrldYankee said...

Just popped on over, and sad to find you aren't in Europe anymore. I can't imagine what it must feel like to be back home. WOW, I am so jealous. I think it might be strange for me, though., when I finally do.

Tanya said...

NewWrldYankee: Welcome! Yup, I'm more in the US now than in Europe, although I'm currently on a quick trip back to Paris, which is nice. It was pretty strange to come home - reverse culture shock is intense! But life goes on, and traveling is always on the table :-)