It’s true that to be truly happy we must appreciate not only who we are and what we have but also where we are. This means to make the most of wherever we call home. There are several places close to my heart, but these last 5 years, it’s Paris that I am lucky to call my home. With all it’s flaws and imperfections (those who have lived here know what I’m talking about), but much like a person, no place is perfect. There are certainly days in which I miss the chaos of New York City, or the calm of Westhampton Beach, but there is certainly no place as beautiful as Paris. And I have seen a lot.
A few days ago, I took a walk along the Seine.
It is here that I often find myself on early evenings.
I had a rendezvous with my Italian, but kept walking and walking…
Captivated by the light on this late summer evening.
And this is when it occurred to me exactly how lucky I am.
What better place to sample French wines than in a boat on the Seine?
On a recent overcast afternoon I experienced Wine Tasting in Paris, started by wine connoisseur Thierry Givone. Admittedly, I didn’t know too much about the many wine regions of Paris, other than which regions produce my favorite wines, namely Bourgogne and Bordeaux. And the Champagne region of course! This was the perfect occasion, not to mention setting, in which to educate myself.
I was joined by friend Amy Feezer. Following a glass of bubbly we all became better acquainted.
One glass of wine followed another, from the Loire to Bourgogne to the Côtes du Rhône. And with each glass a thorough description of the grapes, the notes, the tastes… even a lesson in the way wine should be savoured. Thierry has a particular affinity towards Bourgogne, that region being his home, but he is an expert on all regions of France and certainly has developed a nose for wine! I was pleased to taste wines I would otherwise not have thought to try, and was impressed with Thierry’s expertise and attention to detail when it came to French wines.
After over 3 hours of tastings and conversation, with a view of the sun setting over the Seine in the distance, Amy and I left the boat a little bit tipsy and a lot more knowledgeable. Santé!
For more information: www.wine-tasting-in-paris.com and Facebook and Twitter
Once in a while, even those who call Paris home must play the role of a tourist. What better way to fall in love all over again? And so, recently, to celebrate nothing in particular, my Italian and I spent a night on the Seine amidst the lights of Paris. We boarded the boat just beneath the glow of Madame Eiffel, and with champagne in hand, began our dinner tour. This is certainly a city to behold, even in it’s darkest hour. In order to share this experience, I braved the cold and currents on the return, and with iPhone in hand (forgive the poor photo quality) I captured Paris by night.
Enjoy the ride!
For those visiting the city of lights or locals in need of dinner with a view, jump aboard! Take note, I recommend only going on a Sunday night for the Michelin chef’s dinner. Romantic and gourmet. We will be playing tourist again come Spring, as the sun is setting, a whole other Paris to savour…
My preferred mode of transport amidst these cobbled streets is the Vélib’, a public bicycle system which was successfully launched on July 15th 2007, currently the largest of its kind in the world, consisting of 20,000 bikes. Every 300 meters throughout the city center lies a station, appearing much like an oasis to those weary of walking (no doubt the stiletto laden fashionistas are great fans of the Vélib’). For merely 1 euro I pick up a bike, navigate my way through the maze of the Marais, return the bike to one of the 1,450 stations, and continue my adventures via foot. Countless hours are spent circling Paris in this manner. Perhaps the greatest sensation is flying over one of the enchanting bridges via Vélib’ at sunset, following only the direction of the stars.
Walking along the Seine I noticed the most intense set of eyes staring at me. These eyes were large and profound, plastered along Ile Saint-Louis and Pont Louis Philippe. I could only imagine this was an artistic statement, not merely a talented graffiti artist. Indeed, this impressive exhibition, part of Nuit Blanche, is the vision of famed French photographer JR, titled ‘Women Are Heros’. The faces of women from impoverished nations around the world, most notably those in the favelas in Rio de Janeiro and in Kibera, Kenya, are projected larger than life, leaving the viewer moved and mesmerized. With eyes wide open.