January 5, 2014
“Because you literally went on a journey.” Quoth a good friend (and erstwhile namer of this blog) to me, about why 2013 deserves a reminiscent wrap-up post.
2013 felt like a growing year. I guess every year feels that way when you look back on it, but this is the first time ever that I’ve had an entire year’s worth of blog to look back on. In truth, the year started kind of miserably — I think I must have Seasonal Affective Disorder, the most appropriately-acronymed mood disorder — but it kept getting better and better as the year went on.
January brought snow to Paris. I have never had to live and function in a city that gets snow, so it was an entirely new and slippery experience. I am told that the snow hardly ever sticks like it did this year. I consider myself lucky to have seen the city with her winter coat on.
And of course, I ate. I visited Frenchie bar a vins for the first time, then the second, then the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, in quick succession. Then there was Bones, Vivant, Pierre Sang, Verjus… the list goes on.
I count myself lucky to have met a wonderful group of friends this year, many of them bloggers, many of them not. Whether we were meeting at someone’s place for an evening shindig (as we did for an improbable number of weekends in a row), or tasting way too many eclairs in one sitting, or hanging out in a new bar, or enjoying a golden picnic on the banks of the Seine, these hilarious, brilliant people are the reason that I love and miss Paris so much.
In the spring, I traveled. I spent one beautiful day in London. I spent a few days on an island paradise with some lovely girls, oggling chiseled Corsicans on the beach and getting very burnt indeed. And I visited Brittany with a native.
Spring was also the beginning of what I’ve pretentiously been calling my Montmartre period. I spent many a day at Soul Kitchen or Kooka Boora, click-clacking away at my computer and slowly, slowly making my way through lunch and multiple cafés, waiting for the evening to come, sure to bring another adventure with a lover or a friend. The flowers seemed to explode on the trees and everything was right with the world.
And then, suddenly, it was time to go. I packed up my four huge suitcases with everything I owned and flew back to my hometown. I settled in with my new roommate in our new apartment with our new kittens (one of whom has grown handsomely lanky, while the other has become an adorable chub-ball) and got to the business of rediscovering the city — its culture, and its food.
But I couldn’t stay away for long. I returned to Paris twice in the fall, purportedly to take some photos, but in reality mostly to drink. Have I mentioned how great it is having photo assignments in cocktail bars? And to have friends who rent party buses filled to the brim with joy and champagne?
Now I’m back at home, but still traveling. Up north to San Francisco a few more times (the latter of which I have yet to tell you about, shame on me), and planning next year’s adventures. There are whole other continents to see!
Thanks for sticking with me, friends. Here’s to more and better in 2014.
i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
when i was sixteen and
twenty-six and thirty-six
even thirty-six but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me
- Lucille Clifton