Beginning at Love

—Or rather at the city of love.

First day of Paris.

We arrived in Paris at 7 am. Though fatigued from a sleepless seven hour flight, the sleepy haze was soon to be wiped away by the view that was the city of love. 

All around us, beautiful neoclassic moldings were casually inserted into the everyday architecture. And as though not to be beaten, aspects of art nouveau crawled up carved buildings in the form of arabesque railings and gates. Unlike in New York where people went to museums to ‘get cultured’, culture was prominent in every nook and cranny of Paris no matter where you looked. The city is a paradise for creative minds or simply curious minds because every sliver of Paris is both a homage to the city’s history and an inspiration waiting to take flight. 

Inside the Galarie de Vivienne

Beyond the physical features of Paris, the culture shock was actually quite manageable. Like in New York, people of all walks of life milled the streets, chatting with each other, or taking a smoke. However, one of the biggest differences between the two cities was smell. Although both places boasted a decently sized homeless population, the smell of human waste was much more pungent in Paris, a realization which shocked me. As a New Yorker who coexisted with train track rats and mysterious sidewalk substances, I couldn’t fathom a smellier place. So imagine my surprise when the underbelly of the city of love turned out to be piss ridden. 

But beyond the sights and smells, Paris really is a foodie’s life dream. Between all the events of our first day, trying new French food was a top priority. Between chocolate croissants and escargot, the city is a treasure trove of opportunity for taste buds of all preferences. Albeit hesitant at first, escargot easily became one of my favorite French dishes and for all potential visitors of a France, I would recommend trying escargot at your earliest chance, because it may easily become a dish you fall in love with. Another must try food—or rather food group is pastries. France is easily acknowledged as one of the leaders in the art of pastry making, so as a rule, I stuffed myself with French sweets, a commitment I’d recommend to all tourists who get the chance. Sweets for three meals a day and no less. A patisserie I recommend is Gerard Mulot, a bakery located on 76 Rue de Siene, but any other local bakery works just as fine too.  

Delicious Escargot straight from the streets of Rue Cler!

In the same vein, Rue Cler is a must go street for people hoping to get a better perception of French cuisine. Restaurants ranging from cafes to tradition French cuisine lined either sides of the cobble stone street like sets of uneven teeth, each store’s aesthetic donning their own mix of art nouveau and neoclassicism. The cafe I went together with my friends was the Cafe du Marché which offered a range of dishes from large salads to escargot. Absolutely delicious, and a place I would recommend to anyone visiting Rue Cler during their stay in Paris. 

In a nutshell, my very first day of Paris was of a foodie living out her dreams amongst clouds of sweets and cuisine. For anyone with the opportunity to travel to the city of love, I implore you to explore the various foods Paris has to offer, because you definitely won’t regret it. I know I definitely won’t as I continue on my food tasting pilgrimage.