Perhaps one of my most favorite past times while visiting Paris was walking the streets in the early morning. Starting from the fourth floor flat, I looked over the courtyard to surrounding rooftops. Neighbor’s windows right across the way reminding me of the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Rear Window.”
When I first arrived in Paris I was a little apprehensive about safety, but the more I was there the more I saw women walking or running alone at all hours so I felt quite safe in the area we where staying in. Several embassies were located in the neighborhood and fancy cars passed us by on the streets. There were a good number of brasseries within a few blocks and if you looked at the right angle, the Eiffel Tower rose high above.
I was able to take my time and look at the nooks and crannies and discovered hidden gardens and Art Deco doorways. I rarely took the same route twice as each new turn revealed new treasures.
Once you have visited the “Must See” tourist attractions of Paris, you can begin enjoying the true Paris. The Paris that can be found only on the streets. The color, the historical architecture and the clean lines of the buildings. Early enough and you see that even the streets are still cleaned by individual street cleaners with brooms. An elegant town but yet a simple lifestyle that relies on good manners, care for one’s surroundings and an unhurried pace.
Lunches that are not rushed but rather to be savored at a sidewalk table and good conversation is the first course.