Paris, You're Bringing Me Down
I've grown tired and bored of Paris.
There. I said it.
During my first visit to Paris, I will filled with starry-eyed wonder and boundless energy. I was a French teacher who'd co-organized a trip with a colleague and our students for the summer. I was beyond excited to finally use my French in France. I had a blast seeing all of the sights - The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, l'Arc de Triomphe, the Catacombs, so on and so on. We got up really early in the morning to get tickets to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which is totally worth if you've never done it. We decided in our few hours of free time to go through the Catacombs, which is really interesting if you're cool with macabre things. It was the best trip.
It was even fun when my husband and I went there on vacation a few years ago. My husband wanted to go to Paris just to hear me speak French lol. We stayed at a cute AirBnB near Montmartre, took a day trip to Normandy, and ate delicious food all week.
But now, the allure of Paris is starting to wear off. I'm jaded. The shiny veneer of the City of Lights has been stripped from my view. All that's left is the raw reality of the city: impolite Parisians (I hate that it's a stereotype, but I've experienced it enough to recognize a trend, even as a francophone), dirty streets rife with pickpockets and vendors selling tchotchkes that were no doubt made in China, and a general sense of impatience and unwelcome.
I visited Paris with one of my best friends earlier this year. That's when I realised that I was not as in love with the city as I once was. First of all, I was sick the entirety of the trip. It was either a nasty head cold or seasonal allergies, but either way, I was physically miserable. Weak. Tired. All I wanted to do was stay in the AirBnB, drink soup and tea, and sleep. Of course, I wasn't going to do that to my friend who hadn't been to Paris since she was a young teenager. So I pulled it together as much as I could and went out. My favourite part of that trip was visiting Versailles because I hadn't been there before. It's absolutely stunning and well worth the visit if you're in Paris. All of my highlights from that trip were either little gems that we stumbled upon, eating at my favourite restaurant, and people-watching at Sacré-Coeur.
Much to my friend's dismay, I wasn't up for ascending the Eiffel Tower again (I'd done it twice by this point). Not to mention the weather was not in our favour. Cold and rainy practically the entire week. Not conducive to someone who's feeling awful.
Now, I can't shake the feeling of being 'over' Paris. All I see are the negatives. The pickpockets. The need to constantly be on your Ps and Qs when you're around large groups of people. The dirty streets and general lack of respect for public areas. The constant dodging of street vendors near popular sites.
I know what I need to do. Find some hidden gems in the city and enjoy those. Parc de Montsouris was recommended to me by a friend. I found it quite charming for peoplewatching and reading a novel. While on a layover, a few crewmembers and I went out and enjoyed some late night blues music in a jazz club in the 5ème arrondissement. I know there are plenty of gems to discover and neighbourhoods to visit. I just need the push. There are still a few popular places that I have yet to visit; Musée d'Orsay and le Centre Pompidou are at the top of my list.
Does anyone have any recommendations for a person who visits Paris fairly often and has grown bored and tired of it?
Here's to trying to appreciate a once-loved city,