Reflections of Paris
Posted by David Richards on May 19, 2009 12:55 PM EDT
Quite a city
I'm in what is arguably one of the prettiest cities in the world. This is only the second time I've been here but I must say I'm more impressed this time than the last. While it may be because my jet lag is noticeably better, it really doesn't matter. This is truly a beautiful place. Following are a few, random thoughts (the title an inside joke to one of my sons) that occured to me as I strolled the various avenues. [Note: If you're looking for complete sentences or fully formed thoughts you might consider not reading much further] Here goes, in no order:
- Lots, and I mean lots, of people wear black.
- Almost nobody wears shorts. Hint: If you see a middle-aged (though sprightly) guy, in shorts, taking a walk, he's undoubtably an American. [In my case, at least no camera around the neck]
- It seems that many, many more people smoke here.
- While I didn't see as many folks exercising -- and I was hoofing it around 6 PM -- our French brethren look healthier and much thinner than their cross-Atlantic friends
- You do the math: more smokers....less exercisers... it can only mean the French live statisticallly LONGER than we do
- Which leads me to wine; even the inexpensive wine in hotels is good. Given that, and my new focus on health, bon appetit!
- The layout of the city. If I remember my history correctly (poor assumption), the same guy that laid out Washington DC (L'Enfant?) had a hand in the design of Paris. Go figure. Roads criss-crossing everywhere. Thank god the drivers are more courteous than in, say, Italy.
- The buildings are attractive, grand, and well maintained. Again, a bit like DC but clearly they preceded us, though we hate to admit it.
- I forgot how big the Arc de Triomphe is; I could see it "just down" a piece, yet an hour later I'm sitll walking