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Last July we visited Paris on holiday. The moment you land and start seeing the architecture there is no mistake you’re in Paris. It is a big, bustling city. A much sleeker and sexier New York City in my opinion. Every time I'm in Paris, I am always taken aback by the Eiffel Tower. I know it’s touristy and trite but it has beauty and strength that is simply awe inspiring.
The Eiffel Tower is an iconic piece of architecture like no other in the world. Which is ironic because when it was built for the World's Fair in 1889 most Parisians hated it. Today, it is the symbol of romance and beauty in the “city of lights”.
Beyond the architecture, the thing I have always noted about Parisians is their attention to detail and simplicity. We love to stroll down the Rue, popping in and out of little shops that are perfectly curated; no overstuffed shelves, no tchotchkes. Instead, you’ll see a perfectly folded blanket in one color––not fifteen. They think about presentation and consumerism differently than we do. They’ll display the one truly beautiful thing, instead of ten stand-ins.
It’s true of the restaurants as well. Small bistros don’t even feel small, because they aren’t there to turn tables, they are there to feed and delight people. You aren’t crowded and you aren’t rushed and you aren’t choosing between forty things on the menu. Usually there is a choice of five entrées and they are all prepared to perfection.
The bistros also seem to stay with classic French dishes that have been satisfying diners for well over a century. A Lyonnaise salad with salty lardoons topped with a creamy egg; mussels steamed in local wine; a beautifully seared steak with fresh herbs and of course, a tarte aux pommes to finish.
While Paris is very sophisticated, it’s also just simpler. And that simplicity is very inspiring. Especially after a little French cheval pas original.
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