During this month of love, take a little (virtual) trip to one of the most romantic cities in the world: Paris.
Paris. Le sigh. I’ve always been drawn to France, Paris in particular. The City of Light has a hold on me; a magnetism that I can’t quite explain. Perhaps it’s the rich history, the decadent cuisine, the abundance of art, the cool nonchalance of the locals. Maybe it’s all of that and more. I love the cafe culture, the walkability of the city. I’m crazy about the Centre George Pompidou with its incredible collection of modern art. I love picnicking on the grass at the Jardin du Luxembourg, sipping Côtes du Rhône rosé and watching the birds fly overhead.
I could go on. Instead, here are a few things I find romantic about Paris.
Yes, it may be cliché to mention the Eiffel Tower as one of my favorite things about Paris, but the city’s landmark is quite a spectacle. 1050 feet above the Champ de Mars and the river Seine, the tower offers a rather spectacular view of the city. Who wouldn’t want to be kissed atop the tower, among such glorious sights? Yes, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were engaged upon the Eiffel Tower, but let’s not hold that against it.
The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national ballet company in the world, founded in 1669. Many classical ballets are centered around romantic plots: Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Les Sylphides. Dance is an expression of art through the body, a sensual act. To attend the ballet in Paris, where ballet began, is certainly something with which to fall in love. Visit the Palais Garnier and indulge in the opulent beaux-arts neoclassical architecture, or attend a performance at the Opéra Bastille, with its ultra-modern geometrical glass walls.
The Sacré Cœur basilica perched on the top of the Montmarte butte is constructed of white stone and manages to gleam even in the gloomiest of Parisian skies. Stately and statuesque, it’s a glowing beacon seen from many corners of the city. A detailed mosaic covers the interior of the dome, while stained glass windows flank the walls. No matter what religion, if any, you claim, the basilica will move you, which seems only natural as its name means ‘sacred heart.’
Paris is pastry heaven. The narrow cobblestoned streets are dotted with patisseries, their windows filled with rows of the most beautiful confections I’ve ever seen. Or tasted. Buttery, flaky pain au chocolate, light and sweet tarte aux poires, and of course, les macorons. I love each and every bite.
It’s no secret that Paris is the fashion capital of the world, so obviously, the shopping is equally as fabulous. Find modern furnishings in the Marais, vintage books and trinkets along the Seine, and if your budget allows, or if you’re in the mood to browse, wander the shops along the Champs- Élysées or along Avenue Montaigne. I’ll admit my affinity for Christian Louboutin heels. I love to visit the modest shop on Rue de Grenelle. Those red soles always get my heart pumping. J’adore.
February is the month of love. We see it as an opportunity to create deeper connections with your loved ones and with anything that ignites a passion in your soul. We see it as a moment to appreciate the little everyday things that put a smile on your face. We see it as the chance to show yourself that hey, you’re pretty lovable and you deserve a little TLC, too. (And that’s always a good thing, no matter what month it is!)