Paris Isn't Burning But It Is Overrated

When it came time to go to Paris I'd already gotten used to the French mystique. So I was not as pleased with the major sites or turned on by it. I'd also grown so tired of French cuisine and longed for anything without butter, cheese or ham. I was also devastated with the amount of money I wasted within Nantes. I'd absorbed enough of France and didn't wager what I needed to enjoy other places. So after too many cafe au laits and tram rides I was lacking for Spain and Italy. Thankfully, there was enough money aside to enjoy Paris for what it was. I walked the same streets as Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso and Kanye West. I had Laduree macroons, walked the designers in Le Bon Marche and visited the Lourve to see the Mona Lisa. I've had a 7 Euro sparkling lemonade, paid over 300 Euros for a single night in a boutique hotel and walked over a mile for a noveau vegetarian hot dog. Paris is quite aware of how naive an American can be. They know the majority of us are seeking thrills and amusement. They also know we will pay anything for it no matter how lackluster. It kills me to say this, but Paris is one big amusement park - a sideshow if you ask me. If you are not in it for romance, artistic exploration or spiritual sabbatical you may get what you are looking for.

Paris wasn't romantic to me. Maybe if it were warmer. Maybe covered in snow. But for June which is the bitter end of spring I couldn't see a couple enjoying it. The Eiffel Tower is actually brown. The Seine is a filthy shade of taupe. Dinner involves intrusive servers. In between the cold, there was icy rain. There was also too much graffiti and gypsy beggars for my tastes. Oddly, Paris smelled good at all hours. It smells like lavender and ocean. It can also be sunny. If you walk the Seine after 2 PM you may catch some vitamin D. Paris was artsy. I'm sure every artist, writer or musician could get inspired walking its streets. There are so many permanent collections and famous pieces. The streets are littered in street art and installations. The only issue is being able to afford the inspiration. Museums and galleries were overpriced. One has to travel to see Banksy and Space Invader and even that costs. Pretty much every museum lacks air con and crowd control. You will sweat amongst marble giants and be shoved to see "her". Paris is scary. Cab drivers actually use their GPS. The perimeter of all the sites are sketchy. Strange men force faulty knick knacks and keychains on you.

Yes, all of the buildings look like "Inception" but that is all over France. People live in those places and they have fairly simple lives. Daft Punk is playing everywhere in the streets and waitstaff is rude because they aren't tipped. Tipping isn't a thing in France or pretty much anywhere in Europe. There are plenty of high end eateries boasting celebrity chefs and whatever new fusion craze in Paris. There also places charging 12 Euros for an uninspired hamburger. Fashion is everywhere but not expertly placed. You can walk into Jil Sander and be hit with the drippings of someones wet clothes on the line. I was sold a Furla jelly bag at Le Bon Marche and actually touched a Vivienne Westwood Melissa pump. We missed Colette, Printemps and Repetto. We also missed the creperies, real absinthe and McDonalds. We never got to a French food truck or a yacht party on the Seine. We did walk the same block for over an hour for something to eat and finally settled on Starbucks. At that point, my friend and I were pretty much over each other. We sat at different tables and she showed me subtle notes on her phone about how much money I owed her. We were off to Spain in a few hours. It was clear we were over Paris and she was equally over us. The only gifts Paris gave were horse pilled sized ibuprofen, the flavor of mont blanc and custom measured ace bandages.

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