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Paris When It Sizzles
Janet Flanner, the famous American correspondent for the New Yorker who spent most of her life in Paris, memorably described her beloved city thus: "One's eyes became the eyes of a painter, because the sight of [PARIS]itself approximates art, with the narrow, pallid facades of the buildings lining the river; with… the vast chiaroscuro of the palatial Louvre, lightened by the luminous lemon color of the Paris sunset off toward the west; with the great square, pale stone silhouette of Notre-Dame to the East… The Pont Neuf still looked as we had known it in the canvases of Sisley and Pissaro."
Flanner may have been describing the Paris of the 1920s when she and the first wave of American expatriates first arrived in the City of Lights, but not a lot has changed in the intervening 90-odd years.
To hear local Parisians tell it, though, the city is suffering from a malaise - that somehow, Paris has withdrawn a little into itself after the attacks of the past couple of years. Maybe. The consensus, though, especially from regular visitors, is that this, too, shall pass. Paris has endured much worse. Which explains why, in every arrondissement, life goes on with quiet fortitude and solidarity, and a great deal of style.
The city is still every bit as beautiful and romantic as it was in Flanner's time. And with the Euro a little softer against major currencies, this is as good a time as any to drop in for a dose of Paris's endless attractions. In kitchens across town, imaginative chefs are firing up their stoves. Museums are staging mini-blockbuster shows. The boutiques are stuffed with the latest fashions. And it's easier than ever to find a room in a fabulous hotel. Carpe diem, we say.
PHOTOS DAVEN WU & COURTESY