Sunday, February 19, 2012

Host with the Most: The Local Way Paris



Sometime ago, while just getting my feet wet at the Sorbonne, scared out of my wits, and working for a tour company that paid me in tips, I got an email.  A production company in New York was looking for a host for a travel series they wanted to produce about Paris.  They heard about me through a series of grapevines and reached out to ask if I’d like to work with them. 

The fee?  Some meals and the chance to be filmed with all of my clothes on.  Already about as down and out as I could get, I said, sure, why not?  Fancying myself an Anderson Cooper or Barbara Walters, I met the two producers and things got under way.  Plus, I was at the point where I’d do most anything for a free meal.  The clothes thing I wasn’t too picky about.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On Snow

Early-birds...

Paris is something special in the snow.  And not in the sort of way that makes tourists dream.  No tourists want to be in Paris when it snows.  It covers up everything they traveled miles to see.

But to live here when it snows.  Yes, special.  The first time I experienced Parisian snow was as I walked out of my apartment, the boding medieval hospital across the street blurred by falling flakes.  Tracks in the ground marked those who had woken up earlier than me to tackle the first snowfall.  I made my way towards the Canal, long frozen by the winter chill.

As I felt those first few flurries melt on my face, all sorts of childhood excitations begin to well up from some long forgotten spring.  Suddenly I saw myself rushing to the back of the closet to search for my snow pants, screaming to my brother and sister to grab the sleds while I rummage through the bag of gloves.  Why could I never find two that matched?

Your childhood self tells you to enjoy it quickly before it melts away.  The snow will be there and gone in the blink of an eye, and soon schools will reopen and plows will reign supreme on the streets.  Snow is but a fleeting moment as quick as the childhood innocence that loves it so.