Most years, the thought of November in Toronto is enough to send me packing. My fallback destination is Paris, the most beautiful city on earth. Paris is always a good idea, and Paris in November, not an obvious choice, is one of my favourite times to go. Flights are wide open, airfares are low, and booking with points is as easy as it gets.
As that famous French food critic Anton Ego would say: I don't LIKE Paris, I LOVE it! And, just like my daughter who, after not seeing me for a while, wants to do everything she likes doing with me in the space of an hour, I drink in Paris, go to all the places I love, eat all the things I love and walk everywhere I love in the one day I am here.
The question of how cities regulate night-time behaviour is a very old one, but it has emerged as the focus of innovative thinking in the last two decades. The conflict between a growing market of young people demanding late-night entertainment and gentrified homeowners complaining about noise is being handled in various ways across the country.
Vancouverites descended on the neighboring grounds beside Science World last night for the city's second annual Dîner en Blanc pop-up picnic and after party. About 2,500 lucky attendees donned whimsical white ensembles to participate in a tradition that began in Paris 25 years ago and I've been anticipating this event for weeks.
I fantasize about the cafés in Montparnasse: Le Dôme, La Closerie des Lilas. Back then it was the heart of intellectual and artistic life in Paris and in most of the developed world. Our ideas are constantly intertwined in the democratic World Wide Web. But still I wonder, is the type of intellectual discourse that once thrived in Montparnasse insignificant now?
In six wonderful days in Paris the Breast Friends learned: That Paris is a beautiful city and that in six days you can get a wonderful taste but would need weeks to really know the city. That you shouldn't get too excited about wonderful French chocolates, or you may leave your face print on the glass. And more...
During a recent jaunt to the City of Lights, I allowed myself to do something I had never done before during a trip to Paris... access to the Internet. I'm not big on being connected while I travel and I love to discover charming cafes and romantic restos on my own. This time around I decided to do some research.
Warning: before you take in the final performance of Vancouver Opera's La Boheme, some Prozac may be required. It helped me drift back to my own bohemian existence, many moons ago, when I lived in a Parisian garret in St Germain des pres. I had almost no possessions, no telephone -- I also busked on weekends in le Marais, singing gypsy songs and Leonard Cohen ballads.
Its shameful that anyone would give another human a hard time for crying. It's one of hardest things in the world to do. Forgetting the whole gender role kerfuffle, crying is terrifying. It leaves you completely vulnerable to everyone around you, you lose control of your own body and you get boogers. Crying sucks.