Tuesday, July 1, 2008

4.8 Km

4.8 Km. That's how close I was to Roland Garros this June. The French Open was going on at the time. It was Day 8 at the tournament. Ana Ivanovic and Rafael Nadal were 3 matches away from winning the Championship in their respective draws. I was on my way to Zagreb, Croatia to attend a film festival with my filmmaker friend, Eric. Our flight from Dulles was late getting into Paris, so we missed our connecting flight. Despite how tired we were from the long travel, we were pretty excited to be in Paris. A quick ride on the RER and we're in the center of Paris! Eric and I got off at Saint-Michel, walked east to the Seine, then across to Notre Dame.

I had never walked the streets of Paris before and was somewhat apprehensive, given the reputation of the French with those who haven't perfectly mastered their language. I have first-hand experience of this from when I was in Annecy the prior year...

Feeling somewhat brave, we dared to stop at a restaurant to eat and face the wrath of "le
garçon". The food was bad (I didn't know that was possible in Paris), but my French held and we got pretty good service.

Paris is everything that is lovely about life. You REALLY feel that when walking the streets. I never felt that way walking around New York. Perhaps, New York is just too familiar. I don't know NYC well, but it is still America. There are rules to American cities that I know inherently. Paris is different. I want to go back.