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What I Love About Paris

TIME : 2-16 14:58:37
Whether it’s mastering the myriad meanings of “oh là là” as you bask in the Parisian sunshine or enjoying classic French culinary delights, Aurelia d’Andrea shares her abiding love of living abroad in the City of Light.

  • Those first glorious, sunshiny days of spring, when Parisians can’t help but
    smile as they bask in the sun at terrace cafés across the city.
  • Brocantes (antiques markets), marchés aux puces (flea markets), and vide-greniers (rummage sales), where scoring secondhand treasures is a popular weekend sport.
  • Mid-November, when Parisian streets get gussied up with twinkling lights, decorated trees, and marchés de Noël that usher in the holiday season.
  • Mastering the myriad meanings of the beloved expression “oh là là.”
  • Watching strangers helping strangers lug suitcases, poussettes (baby strollers), and grocery bags up and down those seemingly endless Métro stairs.
  • The outdoor produce market in autumn, when summer’s ripe peaches and cherries give way to earthy mushrooms, fresh hazelnuts, and crisp Normandy apples.
  • Paris, France, the City of Light.

    Paris, France, the City of Light. Photo © Tommie Hansen, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

  • The way Velib’ has transformed the city into a cyclist’s . . . well, not paradise, exactly, but something close!
  • Sharing conversation with friends over perfectly quaffable €3 glasses of côtes du rhône at a local bar à vins.
  • Hopping an early morning TGV from Gare de Lyon beneath gray skies, and arriving in warm, sunny Nice just in time for a prix fixe lunch en plein air.
  • The way my neighborhood boulanger reaches for the tradition graine baguette as soon as I walk in the door.
  • The unabashed topless septuagenarians sunbathing at the public swimming pool.
  • The simple act of filling my empty wine bottles from one of the enormous wood casks at my favorite caviste’s.
  • Community gardens, where growing kale isn’t just an activity for transplanted Californians.

Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Living Abroad Paris.