All my friends think I am going to Paris for Christmas.
I've been talking about this trip for so long (since the last one) they all think we should have gone already. But it was a complicated year, made challenging by huge projects in my workplace and in my husband's. We both worked a lot, stressed out a lot, and a trip to Madison was all we could muster, in contrast to 2005, when we seemed to be traveling constantly.
Paris is now less than 150 days away. Meanwhile, there are a number of Paris blogs that have made the wait a little easier, bringing The City of Light as close as my iMac screen. Some are old favorites, others are new friends.
First stop every morning is Eric Tenin's Paris Daily Photo. Eric has an eye for detail and a talent for text (turns out he's a fellow journalist). His Dec. 11 "Somewhere Near the Bastille" photo was a masterpiece of contrast and atmosphere. It drew 57 comments — what some of us wouldn't give for that!
Richard Nahem's Eye (or I) Prefer Paris is next. An ex-New Yorker, Richard offers a mix of events, wry observations, reviews and an extensive list of links to other Paris blogs, many of which I have just discovered. Recently he interviewed Eric, and last I knew, was pursuing another celebrity blogger subject. Richard, you could have had a career as a journalist. I've always believed that one creative pursuit feeds another, pun intended.
Of course, I stop at David Lebovitz's blog — doesn't everyone? — because he's savvy and funny and he's the "chocolate guy." (Pray that all the raffle tickets I bought through Menu for Hope win me his chocolate tour.)
Another stop is Run Around Paris, an eclectic and highly useful blog. RAP, two-person venture, offers a bit of everything, from interviews to event notes to food and — well, you name it, Erin (U.S.) and Greg (Paris) offer it. Play close attention here because some extremely useful information awaits you at RAP.
The blogs noted above are all upbeat, a far cry from the first blog I stumbled across a few years ago in which a college student spending a year in Paris whined incessantly about having to be there. Huh?
There are a number of other blogs I check out on a less regular basis. Some are useful when planning a trip but frustrating, too, since they are not updated regularly.
As far as Web sites go, I recommend Paris Notes, a newsletter I've been reading for about five years now. If you subscribe, you can access the Web site's added features, including the newsletter archives. (You can get snail-mail or electronic versions.) The restaurant reviews from Rosa Jackson are priceless. (BTW, I'm also hoping to win Rosa's contribution to Menu for Hope.)
Paris has a way of taking your soul hostage. You give your heart willingly, but you soon realize the city has taken your soul as well. I know of no single person who has visited Paris who does not want to go back.
In our case, we have waited nearly two years.
What about you?