If I were a bird, and could peer down upon this city from above, the tiny streets of Saint-Germain-de-pres would look to be an empty maze of tall, old Parisian appartements. But beneath the eaves and behind the time worn doors thrives another world.
I walk through the winding streets, each seemingly identical, and yet somehow completely unique. Tiny boutiques filled to the brim with antique furniture, glittering and decaying chandeliers, rare books spilling over shelves, and the wafting scent of bread early in the morning.
Down a tiny side street, through an archway, past a shop selling persian rugs and time stained mirrors, to the end of the cobble stoned alley. I push open a small door framed in factory windows. A wave of warm, coffee bean, carrot cake air hits my face and a smiling woman chirps a cheery “Good morning!”. I have the instant feeling of belonging, the tiny cafe filled with Autumn leaves, miniature pumpkins and ginger roots welcomes all. The three women working here chat to me in French and English, seemingly unaware of what language they are speaking. When I ask for my third coffee refill one picks up the pot and leaves it on my table winking and grinning at me as she swoops away. It’s warm and homey, and with my book I sit for hours, reading, writing and eating my way to inner peace.
These tiny gems hidden in the back streets of Paris are my lifeline, my home away from home in a city so full of beauty and passion it’s so easy to miss the tiny moments. To be swept away by the city of love and ludicrousy. Once every little while, I take a day, to sit, to breathe and to remind myself how much I enjoy my own company in a city where no one is ever alone.