Whenever someone asks what my favorite city in the world is, my answer is always, Paris. Of course, I love the city I live in because it’s where my family is, and I love the city where I was born and miss it a lot, but I must admit to a decades-long attachment to Paris.

My first Parisian experience was in the Marais district, fresh out of university, I decided to park my bags at a youth hostel on a sweet little cobblestone street.

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I loved this quiet little street, the gorgeous church, and the doggie that hung out at the restaurant on the corner.

I soon discovered that Paris was everything I had expected, and more.

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My closest Metro stop was Pont Marie, the name of which became part of my first ever email address.

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I loved how the simplest buildings could be so gorgeous, the beautiful architectural details not reserved for museums or city halls, but instead part and parcel of the style of the city.

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In Paris, you can start your day – every day! – with a pastry, you know why? Because then you walk everywhere for the rest of the day!

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And how adorable are those window boxes above?

You can indulge your addiction to freshly baked bread, too!

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And enjoy a bit of wine with dinner every evening:

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A Highlander: The Series fan, I ran to the spot where Duncan’s barge was usually parked,

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only to discover that they were filming in Canada at the time. After I returned to the States, they moved back to film in Paris again – MERDE!!!

I walked down the famous Champs Elysees

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there were posters for Four Weddings and a Funeral, or rather, Quatre mariages et un enterrement, which was the hit movie of that year.
The Eiffel Tower also beckoned

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but I have to say that it was not the tourist sites that made me love this city.
It wasn’t the expensive boutiques or the fancy couture I saw.
It was the history, written on every street, every window and door that have witnessed so much

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It was the food, made to be truly enjoyed and not agonized over

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It was the women, ever so chic and confident, buying clothes that will last instead of clothes to fit this season’s trends

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It was the beauty, everywhere, to be enjoyed even during lunch hour

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because seriously, if you could go to a place like that to eat your PB&J, wouldn’t you?

And that is why I love Paris. Because of what it is, and because of what it is not. But you know, I decided a few years ago to bring that feeling to my home. I try to cook as much as I can so that I know I am giving my family healthy, nourishing food they can enjoy. I grow my own veggies so that we can eat corn that spent the morning still attached to its stalk. I try to buy things that will last – obviously that doesn’t work for my boys, because they outgrow everything within 3 months – but it means enjoying what we have, instead of always looking around to see what else we can get. It means enjoying life.