After a small luggage overweight fiasco, I arrived in Paris for a 22h layover. Air France at JFK takes their luggage/carry-on limits very seriously. After being asked to repack my 2 checked body bags to redistribute the weight, I was also forced to check in my carry on and repack into plastic bags at the gate. Very frustrating since I (and Beena - thanks Been) took the time to make sure I had all the things I needed in Paris. C'est la vie...
Luckily, I had two friends in Paris - an old one and a new one. Jules, a good friend from Boston and my resident Francophile (she lived in Paris for 6 months in college), met me at the airport. She was traveling to Milan for business and we were able to coordinate an opportune meet-up in Paris. I also made a new friend. On my flight to Paris, I sat next to a fellow NYCer, Kelly from SoHo, who was visiting Paris on her own for the first time. Understanding how it feels to travel alone, I invited her along to hang out with Jules and I for my short time in the City of Lights. It was cool to connect with someone who is a frequent visitor and one that's never been there.
Je t'aime Paris. It was my 3rd visit there, but I'm always amazed by its grandeur and sense of timelessness. My time was limited but I managed to do a little shopping, some sightseeing, and fine dining. After a small purchase at the famed bag store (thanks a lot Macmahan ladies for the introduction - like I needed it!), we walked to the Champs Elysees, had a crepe at Rue du Rivoli, then more walking to see the Arch de Triumph, the Louvre, Garden des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, Point des Arts, La Seine, and Notre Dame. Finally we dined at Le Petite Pointoise in the Quartier Latin where I enjoyed my last piece of beef for awhile and then after-dinner drinks Cafe Flore in St Germain des Pres. Our feet were throbbing at the end of the day.
A couple noticeable things about Paris...1) there are a lot of Americans there; 2) the fashion is pretty similar to NYC - just add motorcycle, helmet and cigarettes; 3) Parisian men have long messy hair - I'm not sure what's going on there... 4) don't mess with Parisians on the RER - they are all business and pouty on a weekday morning!
That said, I'm excited to come back for more than 22 hrs (Helene - if you are reading, I'm soliciting an invitation!) Au revoir Paris! A bientot.