Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The City of Light

Anybody who has known me for any length of time, knows that I am a Paris junkie. It's my favourite city in the world. I recently threw myself une Grande Fete in Paris to celebrate/mourn turning 40. From the moment we arrived, I was full of joy.

Before leaving, I read Paris to the Moon a collection of articles by Adam Gopnik. In 1995, Gopnik, a longtime writer for New Yorker magazine, decided to move to Paris with his wife and infant son. He basically lived my dream. Paris to the Moon captures Gopnik's daily life: the fun of hanging out in Paris and the challenges of hanging out in Paris.

I loved reading about his experiences. I found myself intrigued, charmed and tremendously jealous. Afternoons in the Luxembourg Gardens with his son, afternoons at the pool at the Ritz Carlton hotel with his son and friends, getting in the middle of an uprising over the local bistro's occupation by the big bad restaurant chain Flo. Lovely.

However, Gopnik's writing drove me crazy. Although I'm an English major, I like to think that I am not too anal about grammar. Gopnik's writing was a grammatical nightmare! I found myself getting so distracted by run on sentences, dangling participles and the like, that I would have to stop reading. I eventually got used to it but I didn't like it.

One day, I would love to live in Paris with my family, soaking in all that Paris has to offer...warts and all. Until then, I will keep reading great books about and set in Paris, and longingly remember the last cafe creme I had on a beautiful spring day in the Marais. Heavy sigh.

Paris to the Moon
Adam Gopnik
Random House