Saturday, January 31, 2009

Je suis arrivée

Wow, I made it. I am here in Paris. Living in Paris. Although this trip has been a long time coming, and with each step checked off the to do list I inched closer and closer to it becoming a reality, it still feels a bit surreal to finally be here. Walking around the city, I have just started to explore the areas near me, and I can't wait to get to know Paris better. Paris is like that really fantastic person you meet, and you know you'll be good friends with evetually, but you are a little intimidated at first since she's so cool, awesome and unique, independent and full of life.

My first few days were spent wandering the Left Bank, Rive Gauche, between where I live near the Eiffel Tower, the St Germain area and near La Sorbonne. I have tried to blend in with the locals, forgetting to take my camera out so I can share what I am seeing with everyone at home. I do have to say that the Eiffel Tower still takes my breath away, and I hope I can still say that after living here for 6 months. I will see it often as it is near my place and I plan on running in the Parc du Champ de Mars, where the Eiffel Tower is located, as often as possible. I am excited and a bit relieved to find other runners here. When I lived in Germany, I would go running although the locals looked at me as if I were running around naked. "Why is she running? No one is chasing her..." The park is actually somewhat full of runners on the weekend, even with this 'cold' weather. (this is the point I might officially be a San Franciscan - here in Paris it's just over freezing, but still quite cold for me!!)

With all of this running, I am going to have to do some serious eating to make up for the calories burned. Good thing there is no shortage of food, good food at that, near me. One of the most striking things here, is how many boulangeries, patisseries, boucheries, fromageries, marchés are on every block and corner. There is even a store devoted to frozen food, quite a novel idea!! I have a complete weakness for bread, leave me on a desert island with a baguette and some nicely salted butter, and you won't hear a complaint from me, but my one sweet indulgence is the parisian macaron. Two light almond meringue cookies, that crackle when bitten into, providing a slight chewy resistance then melting into the buttercream or ganache filling and transporting you to another place, just for a moment. J'adore les macarons. My first here in Paris was from the famed Lenôtre, with one location maybe a bit too close to my house. Macarons are everywhere, even the grocery stores have them in their bakery. This could be bad, but it won't. It'll be good, very good.

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