Okay, let's talk about Paris.
In deciding to write a blog about a French city & its culture, I have been asked why not Paris? Did you not love Paris? Are you excited to go back to Paris? etc. etc.
PARIS WILL FOREVER BE A ONE OF MY FAVORITE CITIES.
Paris is dope. Period. It didn't get the reputation as the most chic city in the world for nothing, and I won't feign being some erudite and all-too-well-travelled person that's just over one of the best cities in the world. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I only counted about seven bad outfits in the city (all tourists) and even the indigent were wearing coordinating jackets and shoes (WILD).
I don't hear this very often, but I also have to say that everyone I interacted with in the city was remarkably kind and courteous. Not once did a single person bump into me on the street or in the metro and not say «Pardon.» Everyone I met eyes with smiled back. Everyone in shops greeted me upon entering and said thanks for coming in or have a good day as I left. I received not a scoff or sneer as an American and I can honestly say I have no idea what people are talking about when they say that people in Paris are rude. (Maybe, though, that's just everything I saw, and perhaps behind my back people were sticking their tongues out like mischievous cartoon boys from the 50s and whispering to each other like when Gossip Girl would send out a new text to the whole student body. We'll never know.)
REAL TALK, THOUGH: THE THING I LOVE MOST ABOUT PARIS IS THAT THERE ARE 8 MUJIS IN THE CITY.
That is to say, I love the (window) shopping, the rhythm (heaven knows I love me a big city), the fact that beauty meets you at every possible turn and it is all-around lovely. In contrast, I arrived in Lyon after sundown so my first real look at the city was when I opened the window in the morning to rolling hills of flowering trees, a bright sunny sky and birds singing and, y'all, my heart lit up.
PARIS IS BEAUTIFUL BUT LYON FELT LIKE ANOTHER HOME
You know the feeling you get when you've been out of town for a while and, on your way back home, see the first building on the highway that tells you that home is only a few miles away, or when the plane starts to take those first few dips and you know you'll be landing soon and all you can think about is how excited you are to lay in your own bed? I felt that warmth looking around the city when I had never even planned on visiting before ma belle Arielle added it to our list of stops in France.
HOW ARE LYON AND AUSTIN NOT SISTER CITIES?
Lyon has such a kind, creative, and proud energy, I imagine it'd be hard for anyone to visit and not want to stay forever. Seeing people young professionals commuting by bike along the river, everyone out for a drink on a boat and watching families frolic in La Parc de la Tête D'or reminded me of everything I love about being in Austin with wonderfully French touches throughout.
Unlike Paris, Lyon had my heart the second we met and it's been on my mind ever since. Could this be the start of a beautiful relationship? On vera.