I've found that as I get older, my perspective of Paris changes. That shouldn't be surprising as that's what happens when we 'grow up.' Paris can be romantic yet lonely, beautiful yet dirty, sacred yet profane. And I have experienced all of those sides, when I'm there alone, with my love or with a girlfriend. No matter what, people get very passionate when speaking about the City of Light.
I've been very fortunate over the years to have had many opportunities to visit Paris, and when I met my boyfriend there it became my second home. Living there, like many other cities, is a drastically different experience than visiting as a tourist. You no longer hold the wonder and unrelenting desire to see major landmarks in the city. You simply go about your day, likely not even noticing the beautiful environment around you. That's part of the reason why it's so important to 'play tourist' in your own city once in a while. It forces you to stop and look around, smell the roses.
Each time I visit Paris it's with a different purpose in mind, but the one thing it always does is it calms me. No matter how crazy your life is (especially running around the city between Fashion Week shows!) you can easily find a pocket or a little corner where you can grab a coffee or un verre du vin and sit. Sit with your thoughts (or not). But just sit and 'be' for a few hours. I'll definitely need to do that more, now that I'm back home in Vancouver. Good thing the weather here at home is holding up nicely and very soon we'll be able to head outdoors and hike! In the meantime, we'll just have to look at these pictures and wish we were there (again).