Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Paris is a place full of clichés. But I can’t help it, they often turn out to be true. City of lights? I’ve sworn never to use this image when writing about Paris. But then what about the city of love? Here we go. It’s springtime, it’s May, the merry month of may, as a popular song in France goes, there is as much pollen in the air as testosterone. Skirts are shortening, gazes are longing. And you might ask yourself where is the best place to kiss in Paris?
Photo: © AFP, Pierre Verdy
This is a question which – in a city like Paris – is worth a small guide-book: “Ou s’embrasser a Paris?” If you don’t want to settle this question scientifically, than just follow your heart. Pick a nice place, a hidden bench, a lovely bridge. Head to the Pont des Arts for example, the bridge, which is packed with love padlocks, and swear eternal love before throwing the key into the Seine. It might help, who knows. We’ll check the divorce rate of those couples later.
Or what about the Wall of I love you in Montmartre? Have you ever heard about it? It’s hidden on a small square called Jehan-Rictus on Montmartre. The French composer Fredéric Baron had the idea to write “Je t’aime” in all imaginable languages on one wall, white letters, unusual signs on deep cobalt blue glazed tiles.
He started asking friends to translate the universal declaration of love in their own languages, then he called people at embassies and he ended up with hundreds and hundreds of messages saying all the same, magic thing: “I love you”. Meanwhile, a lot of people added their own language, their own declaration.
So may be one day you stop by and just read out loud to your beloved what’s written there. And in case you’d like to prepare your declaration in 311 languages, go to the website of the wall where you get some phonetic help.
And don’t be surprised if Rita Hayworth herself happens to listen to your declarations. She is there, looking like Gilda, saying something like loving is chaos – so let’s love.