As I was walking to work this morning, I saw a sticker that said "I heart NY" and I thought "Me too!"....what a nice way to start a wednesday!
No matter what my differences are compared to Parisians, I always know we have 1 thing in common -- we both heart NY. This commonality is something I can always fall back on as a spark of conversation, as seriously, I have yet to meet a Parisian that doesn't swoon when I say I'm from NY. They may 'hate' Americans (I don't really think they do), but they love New Yorkers.
I've thought a lot about the 'why' for this and I have a few theories. On the surface, the two cities are like night and day. One is fast paced and modern, the other slow and traditional. One has sky scrapers galore and taxis as far as the eye can see, whereas the other barely has a building over 5 stories and taxi can never be found. One has work-a-holic tendencies, the other prefers to vacation half the year. In short, they're different. But when people ask me how I'm 'adjusting' to Paris, I say it's quite easy and I think one of the reasons is why all the Parisian love NY -- because what makes the cities tick is essentially the same.
Hear me out -- What did I love to do in NY? Eat, drink, walk, admire buildings, visit some museums (I swear I did!), picnic in central park (okay, just twice), check out the newest restaurant, go shopping, etc. What do Parisians Love to do? Eat, drink, stroll, visit museusms, picnic, shopping...yes the eating and drinking are contain more cheese and wine, the walking may be a different pace and the shopping is at a different price point, but really, it all the same. And they both have the energy that accompanies big cities in which people are living, working, and playing all in close proximity. I think there is comfort in going somewhere that is seemingly different, but overall familiar, which can lead quite easily to a 'I HEART NY' from any Parisian. Of course you do -- it's the Paris of North America :-)
(I have yet to hear a Parisian say "I love LA". I have plenty of theories on that, but that will have to wait for another post)