1. The View From My Roof: I love climbing out on the slate roof, and it is indeed the best view in Paris as I can see every major monument lit up at night.
2. Sunday Afternoons: On Sundays, Paris rests. It is difficult to find any practical businesses open and everyone takes to the streets and parks. I like to walk out to Ile St. Louis where there are always performers juggling torches, musicians playing violins, or massage school students giving free messages.
3. Macaroons From Ladaurée: I love macaroons. They aren’t that popular in the US, but here they are the epitome of pastry perfection. I am on a quest to find the best macaroon in Paris, and so far I am pretty sure it is the cassis-violette (black currant and violet) from Ladaurée.
4. Street Performers: In Paris, the street performers are legitimately talented, often having CDs for sale beside their open instrument cases. My personal favorites are the amazing break-dancers who perform at night in front of the Fontaine St. Michel. I have to restrain myself from given all my Euros to the many talented street artists. I go tossing 2 Euro coins around, forgetting that that is the equivalent of about 3$.
5. My Church: Last week was potluck Sunday. Considering I don’t get a first paycheck till the end of October, this was truly a happy day. But more than just that, I love the amazing community at this church.
6. Endives: I have about three meals that I cook in rotation in my little 2-burner kitchen/ corner of my room with the hotplate and fridge. My endive dish is my favorite, as I started loving endives when I was here before and then discovered they are almost impossible to find in the US.
7. Bocce Ball: Do not misunderstand me; I have yet to participate in this wonderful game. But every morning while I run I see the bocce ball courts in the Luxembourg gardens bustling with elderly men intent on the game. Bocce ball is kind of what you do if you are a French man over the age of 65. I may never work up the courage to try to participate, but I appreciate its existence all the same.
8. Shakespeare and Company: I have lots of free time. I start teaching the end of this week so that might change, but for now, I have time in abundance. I am trying to fill it reading quality books that I have always wanted to read but never got around to. I head over to Shakespeare and Company, the cozily crowded British bookstore across from Notre Dame, and browse for forever before selecting just the right book. If any of you have any suggestions for books to add to my list – please offer them! They need not be overly intellectual classics, just Really Good Books.
9. Nutella: Do you think by virtue of taking something every day it takes on vitamin-like properties?
10. Cobblestone Streets: I know that may not sound exciting, but I never cease to be thrilled walking down old cobblestone streets where the sidewalk buckles and rises to accommodate expanding tree roots. The myriad of cobblestone passages and courtyards give to Paris a distinct appeal. They also wreak destruction on my adorable shoes, but I am choosing to ignore that.