10 Ways to Experience Springtime in Paris Vibes Wherever You Are
Spring is in full bloom and summer is almost upon us. Images of extrinsic destinations beckoning us to sandy shores and exotic locations fill our social media feeds and google searches. The need to experience something foreign from our daily routine is palpable. Like the summer heat that is just beginning to hang in the air. Songs have been written to immortalize Paris in Springtime. It is a hallowed part of the year when the city, grey from winter, comes alive quit literally with color. Although we can’t all head off immediately on an adventure we can import some Parisian Spring fever into our days.
Ride your bike to the market - the images you see of chic Parisians on their bikes, baskets filled with wine, cheese, and bread, are a true representation of the culture. It is their way of celebrating the good weather, ensuring their chicness is seen by all, and bien sur get their daily wine and bread supplies. The wind in your hair (but be American and wear a helmet) and a basket full of treats to celebrate life, you will feel like you could be riding down a cobblestone street in Paris.
Eat outside - the heat of summer has not made a voyage outside like a trip to the steam room after a workout. Even if you are just opening a window and breathing in the fresh morning air while drinking your morning coffee. Find a way to enjoy this ethereal season outdoors. The most Parisian of outings a few hours at an outdoor cafe, enjoy a beverage, and people watch. Think of the infamous Van Gough cafe terrace painting for inspiration. Take this opportunity to bask in the glow of spring light without the immediate heat inspiring you to perspire.
Wear a silk scarf that flows - I always think of Juliet Binoche’s character in Chocolat, standing at the pier listening to the “clever North wind.” A scarf that blows in the wind gives you the sensation of dancing with the world. It makes you feel like you are part of the elements. Evolving with the season. It is the most iconic Parisian accessory for its ability to dress up an outfit, provide warmth if your spring day is a little cooler than you planned, cover your head from spring showers, add a pop of color so you blend in with the blossoms, and of course so you can dance with the wind.
Disappear for a few hours - it must date back to the latin roots of their culture but Parisian women like to remain constantly mysterious. They will leave with no word or explanation. Their destination is no where. Let the city, whichever city, take you for a few hours. Get lost in your own home town. Stroll down a forgotten street, go into a shop you haven’t ventured through in ages, or head to an art museum to explore art and silence without the weekend crowds.
Bring a book to a park bench - every year you promise yourself you are going read classics that are assured to round out your literary lexicon. Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is the Parisian girls eternal spring read. Bring Swan’s Way (volume 1 in 7 of the complete series) and see if the sun and setting can help you make a dent in this literally Goliath. Then promptly abandon your doomed mission of Proustian proportions and walk to a cafe for a glass of wine. It all might make more sense after one.
Buy herbs for the kitchen - spring is a flavor like everything else. It invokes a taste of fresh thyme, sage, and mint. Gather a few of your favorites and put them in little pots in your kitchen. Then you can create delicious spring concoctions with fresh herbs that really do most of the work. Plus it adds a beautiful green color to your kitchen palette and will round out your culinary palate.
Decorate with flowers - hopefully ones you bought at the market and brought home in your bike basket. Flower shops are piece of art on the streets of Paris. Their buckets of color spill into the streets like paint cans that have been knocked over and illustrated the cobblestones. They can bring the feeling of life into your home faster than you can set a google alert for flights to Paris.
Open your windows - air conditioning is not standard in most counties outside of the United States. Many Parisian apartments have no central air to cool them off as days get warmer. Instead they use more natural methods, open windows and a breeze. Finding the perfect combination of open windows in your home that allows the breeze to run fluidly through your entire home, is a puzzle, that once solved, with give you the feeling of natural AC. Try turning off the AC unit and throwing open your home to the breeze. Twilight walks - Spring time weather makes the witching hour particularly alluring. Whether by yourself, with a friend, or lover, make sure to capture this magic hour when the heat of the day is still with your skin but the cool air of sunset is rushing in. The sky is the color of a spring bouquet and there is velvety curtain being dropped on your world like the end of another spring concert.
Picnic in the park - combine a blanket, wine, and a baguette and you have the ingredients for the most perfect of spring time activities. Although many parks in the United States have a ban on alcohol check around for secret exceptions. Many parks have designated locations or hours within the park where you are allowed to consume this precious nectar.
Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald came together to preform my favorite edition of a jazz classic April in Paris. In this they croon “I never knew the charm of spring, never met it face to face. I never knew my heart could sing, never missed a warm embrace. Till April in Paris”. Use this list to capture the charm of spring, like a warm embrace, no matter where you are on the globe.