Paris is a city that of course needs to no introduction. The chic street style, sipping espresso at an outdoor cafe table, people watching and the perfect pastries almost too pretty to eat. I wait thirty-nine years to visit. I am not sure what takes me so long. I am not sure I should have made the trip. Maybe the Paris in my head is better. The patina of this city, the feeling, must be an in person experience, I will admit right away to myself, from the moment I arrive. It must be felt. Snow happens much of my time here. It is January. Good to both snow and January. My coats need to be worn. The only snow that happens in Los Angeles, California is made on movie sets. Once outside of a bar in Santa Monica too. Ye Old Kings Head. This year, I skip the fake snow and I go to Paris alone. I fall in love..
Sitting on my couch in my apartment in Los Angeles, I hear the words echo. Louder than the real life words. The lady from across the bar had says to me, “live your life.” I am still bartending at the time. She was referring to me sliding down the OUE Skyspace LA slide atop the US Bank Tower. As I sit, I start to cry. Sob uncontrollably really. I don’t cry much until this past couple years it seems. It is Thanksiving. Anyway, holidays often do this. Not to me. In general. This year to me. They bring intense emotions. Joy, upset or a combination of both. I am usually pretty even keel. Regular exerciser and adding the twice a day meditations for the last couple of years, how could I not be. I haven’t missed one. Human is human. I stare at my phone and as if someone else is typing, I GOOGLE search Paris, France airline tickets. Paris is always a good idea, right!? Hundreds of flights with different dates and times appear on my 4.7 inches of iPhone screen…
Click. Norwegian Airlines. For the price of a couple of hair services, maybe even one, or some Saint Laurent pumps on sale, I have a flight. Round trip. I of course call my bestie and my other nearest and dearest after to let them know, I will not be here for certain scheduled festivities. The first response is, “where will you stay” again, “where will you stay” and “OMG, you will never come home” and again, “you will never come home”.
I don’t have an real concern as to not having a place to stay but as the week progresses, I start to think, maybe I should finalize the trip. I am a hotel girl mind you. I have certainly worked in enough hotels to know that hotels are great. Maid service, concierge and front desk. Taxis always available. The AirBnB slogan seems more suitable for me-“Live There”. U-huh. Maybe a little more budget friendly. AirBnb.com soon has me searching. I think about calling the travel and tourism department and asking for some sort of sponsorships but I don’t have enough of a following for my blog so I continue to search AirBnb. 16th arrondissement is my first thinking. I even find a studio. A Billion Little Light Bulbs should probably be near a well lit landmark and perhaps making the time there easier to find my way home. Studio near Eiffel becomes my choice. I message the hosts, Julien & Ninette. I give some details about myself and enter all necessary information. The studio is more than my flight. Whatever. I like it. D’accord. Two months to count down.
The plane’s wheels touch the tarmac. I am on “French soil”. One duffle bag. I don’t check bags. A handbag. And my Nikon.!! Blonde hairs in the usual form as of late, a top knot. Bun is quite messy. Tights and crew neck black Missoni long sleeve knee length dress. Doc Martens. Lindsey Thornburg “Raven Cloak”. It is cold in France. As walk through the airport after deplaning, before I reach the taxi line, two gentlemen are standing at sliding glass doors. It’s Sunday. “Taxi Madomiselle?” I say, “No, Merci!” Again, and I think welp, why not. I am ushered through the doors and to a parking lot. I start to think this is a case of kidnapping or hustle. My instinct and overall feeling. Hustle. I only go because I want the story. I could have taken the bus. How much? He says Uber. He flashes fake credentials as if I have no idea who Uber is. Hum. 50 Euro. Apparently taxis are more expensive on a Sunday. Oh Frenchie. D’accord. With 200 Euro on my person. &0 go this “Uber” driver. Wouldn’t you know it, he takes 70 Euro. Right, he doesn’t have change for the tipping. Uh-huh.
I wait outside my Airbnb door. Next to a flower shop. Reminds me of the lower east side of New York City. My phone charge is dying. I wait for my host. Julien. on the bottom floor, through two doors at the end of the hall, next to a spiral staircase is where I will stay. My studio.
To be continued…
Words and other images.. you know, coming soon..