SCHWARZ | The Magic of Paris and Dark Side  of Paris

I have just returned from a visit to four cities in Europe — Madrid, Barcelona, Paris (where we stayed almost twice as long as we did in the other cities) and London. In all four cities, my visits were informed by the pleasure of past visits, but it is memories of Paris and knowledge of French history that haunt my mind. Over multiple visits in my lifetime I have spent probably about seven months there.

The Magic of Paris

When I think of the magic of Paris, I recall hours spent in the Louvre, D’Orsay, Pompidou, L’Orangerie, the Guimet and other major museums and exhibits; dinners in Paris at some of favorite mid-price restaurants, including L’Ardoise, La Regalade, Les Jalles and La Robe et le Palais; and walking various neighborhoods on the both the Left and Right Banks of the Seine. I not only recall occasional ballet, opera and theatre performances as well as the French Open tennis tournament which I attended twice in one visit, but specific shops — such as the Macht Foundation art gallery at 42 rue du Bac (one of my favorite streets) — where I purchased a beloved lithograph that hangs in our dining room. While I can read French reasonably well and muddle through speaking French with a New York City accent, I have watched Paris evolve into a city where one does not have to speak French to get waited on. Ethnic diversity and economic disparity do bring tensions such as the populist Yellow Vest Movement which drew from the far Left and far Right.

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