…for Paris is a moveable feast
Photo: After months of forcing Lily to play with boxes and paper towel rolls and empty water jugs, we decided that a real toy was in order.
Nearly ten years ago, on a post-graduation class trip to Europe, I fell in love with Paris. My French was (and still is!) limited, to say the least, and my knowledge of Parisian history was (and still is…) virtually nonexistent, but there was definitely something about the
amazing crepe stand near the Eiffel Tower and the unbelievable outdoor markets and the gardens– oh, the gardens!– that helped me to understand why people the world over seemed to gush when they talked about the city. But nothing– not the architectural landmarks or artistic masterpieces or epic shopping opportunities–better captures the sense of magic and possibility than Laduree.
Less than a mile from the Champs-Elysées, with multicolored macaron trees in the window and a pastry display case that still, nearly a decade after the fact, makes me salivate, is the fairytale bakery of my dreams. I’ve struggled to put my finger on the why or the how or the what, exactly, made stepping into the shop such a transformative experience for me, but I know that, up until then, I didn’t realize that it was possible to do such breathtakingly beautiful things with food and color and space.
This week, however, watching Lily stir and bake and pretend in her new kitchen has helped me to recall how it feels when your world–and your sense of possibility–really starts to expand. And although those vibrantly colored plastic treats aren’t exactly the macaroons that own my soul, they are an equally effective visual reminder that the whimsical magic I assumed only lived in Parisian pastry shops might not be so far away, after all.
Paris is, as Hemingway noted, a city that manages to stay with you– and today, many years and thousands of miles later, I am beyond grateful for that.
A moveable feast, indeed.