Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Dinner downtown

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Instead of getting in the car after work and driving home, my beau and I walked a couple of blocks to the métro station and went into Paris. I don’t go to Paris as much as I’d like to even though it is not even that far away. My office where I work is in Clichy, just two stops outside of the city. When I was working in Paris initially, I rented apartments usually in the 7th arrondissement and commuted to work on the métro. Now that I live a little west of the city, I either take the train alone or the car with my beau.

The minute we walked down the stairs of the métro station, I felt a slight sense of melancholy come over me. It’s not that the métro is all that pleasant--the odors can be pungent, the air heavy and stale, and the sound of the train against the tracks piercing--but I enjoy it.

In less than a half hour, we stepped off the train and walked up the stairs on the other side of Paris at the République. We walked a couple of short blocks and went to a Chinese restaurant that we both like.

What I love about the metro is how the scenery changes almost instantaneously when we arrive at a new location. Paris is unlike Florence where the city actually has a continuous look within the city walls.

It was still light outside after dinner so we walked toward Les Halles and down rue Montorgueil, which is one of my favorite streets in town and always reminds me of Italy. We strolled down the middle of the street where restaurant terraces spilled out past the sidewalk. I enjoy glancing over at the people eating, drinking, and talking at tables outside because it feels like we are living in a small town instead of a big city. It almost reminded me of Florence where we have large piazze (squares) in which restaurants with large terraces are filled every evening with people enjoying the surroundings and the company of friends.

On our drive back home, I thought about how we could go to Paris more often during the workweek. Spending only a couple of hours was just enough time for me to tap into the city’s energy and enjoy it.

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