Just a few days after my crazy Italian adventure, I had a good friend from my New York days visit me in Paris. Back when I was young and ridiculous, she and I would run around the boroughs in search of "eye candy", talk of our crappy jobs to support our creative goals, and drink lots of cocktails. We spent her 10 days visiting in Paris running around the arrondissements in search of "eye candy" and drinking lots of wine... Clearly nothing has changed... Except that now I live in Europe and she currently lives in Bangkok with her fiancé. She decided to come and crash in my tiny little studio so that she could visit with me of course, explore a different city, and utilize her professional photography skills on a brand new metropolis.
One of the things people kept asking when I said I was having a friend stay in my servant's quarters hovel for over a week, was how my friend and I would avoid killing each other? But since this dear artistic friend of mine is the most freewheeling, easygoing gal I have ever met, it really didn't cause me to raise even an eyebrow. When I went off to work, she wandered the town, and I was brought back to the age of pre-smartphone, when people picked a time, chose a location, and you had to just trust that both people had the brain power and mutual respect to follow through with the plan. Surprisingly, it worked every time and I felt a bit nostalgic for those olden days of yore. Amidst all of our making plans and arriving on time, we made sure to engage in a variety of Parisian activities throughout the week.
I brought her down to the Latin Quarter where we wandered through the streets of education and had a classic French dinner on Rue Mouffetard. I brought her through my favorite areas in Montmartre and sent her off on her own to see things like the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, and whatever museums she wanted to discover. I invited her to meet some of mes amis, attend a pub quiz, make friends at a local bar, and rediscover a restaurant with the best dumplings in the history of mankind. I was also lucky enough to help her choose her wedding dress, which she found at an adorable boutique in the Marais. In addition to tons of wine, cheese, and other goodies, we also hydrated like it was our job, went running several times, and spent a few nights at home just cooking, relaxing and girl gabbing.
Most importantly, I got to see Paris through the eyes of a brilliant photographer who doesn't just gloss over her surroundings with tunnel vision, but takes note of facial expressions, lighting on a face, the shape of an arm, the silhouette of a skyline. I was even treated to the amazing luxury of having boudoir pictures taken of myself, sexy and elegant snapshots I can narcissistically admire in the moment or look back on years from now to remember my youthful beauty. (Not that I ever expect to be old or in any way not beautiful.) When it was finally time to say au revoir to my friend, I felt the normal wistful sadness at saying goodbye to someone who I adore and who knew me pre-Paris, but I was also left with a refreshing reminder of all that this stunning city has to offer.