There’s Something About Paris – Remembering the City…One Year Out.

It’s been almost a year now since we last visited Paris. An entire year! Each time I go, it becomes more dear to my heart. More than any other of my sacred places in this world, Paris is the closest to my heart. I know, without even contemplating it all that much, that I could live there in an instant.

Hamming it up atop the Arc de Triomphe at the end of Av. des Champs-Élysées, Paris, France. (Oct. 2021)

Despite my oft repeated promise to myself that I would not visit a place more than once because there are too many places to visit, I find myself planning for the next Paris trip. Having just returned from there in October, 2021, we are indeed going back in 2023.

Paris truly is a moveable feast!

What we saw of beyond the city last year has me wanting to tour the entire country of France. Even as I dream of my next hike on the Camino de Santiago, I consider the pilgrimage path known as Chemin du Puy. Le Puy looks as stunning as the rest of France. To begin a walk in Le Puy-en-Velay? The mere idea is dreamlike. Walking through all those tiny French towns? Heaven.

I guess all of France has me. I’m still living the memories of our quick visit to Giverny to visit Monet’s home and gardens. Even in October, the blooms were plentiful. The house was a fairy-tale one can easily imagine falling into and never leaving.

Monet’s kitchen…a wonder of its own.
Just to peek out a window in Monet’s house, to see what he saw? The colours of the rainbow. It was sheer magic!
Though not in Paris, I cannot think of Paris without also thinking about the fascinating locations just a short ride away from the City of Light.

In 2023 we plan on staying in the Marais. We merely skirted this historic district of Paris during our 2021 visit. With so much to see, you always miss something…you always have a reason to go back.

We raced to see all that we could in the week we allotted ourselves to see it. From my favourite neighbourhood of Montmartre…

…to my favourite bookstore in all the world, Shakespeare & Company…

The facade of the world famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore (the second incarnation).
Shakespeare’s cat…

There’s just something about Paris. I feel comfortable there, more myself. The way it’s a walkable city, the way it’s a city of cafes and museums and art galleries. The way even the dead have their place and relevance… significance. The way a bonjour is expected and a picnic is encouraged. The way history can be found in layers upon layers as you walk its streets. It’s just fully mine in a way that no other city is.

Paris is a city that belongs fully and completely to all of its adoring fans. It is so multifaceted that there’s enough to go around, enough for everyone to love and feel a special connection to. There are as many Parises as there are people who adore Paris. Or, without bastardizing the English language by attempting to pluralize Paris, your Paris is different from my Paris.

We’re currently planning all the things we will visit that we missed–or walked right past–on our last visit. But we’ll definitely be revisiting a lot of places. There are places in Paris that I can’t imagine not visiting every single time I’m there.

These must visit places include, but are not limited to, Shakespeare & Company, Rue Saint Louis en l’île, the Tuileries, Jardin du Luxembourg, and more. These are necessary places in my Paris. Even the overpriced La Closerie des Lilas feels like a necessary stop for me. Even with the indifferent waiter we had during our last experience there. My Paris just needs to include certain places.

Can we go to Paris without going to the Daru Staircase at the Louvre, where Audrey Hepburn iconically posed in front of the Winged Victory of Samothrace?! I think not!

We’ll be making a list over the next year, and checking it twice. If you have any favourite places in Paris that are off the beaten path…something you might think travelers overlook…drop the info in the comments section. I’d love to discover something new that’s not already on my radar. The list of places we haven’t visited yet is surprisingly quite extensive, considering the places I’ve already checked off the list during previous visits. But I’d love to find something new to love about my favourite city!

The places we visited in 2021 are favourited on this Google map. We covered a LOT of ground, but not enough. We still have so much to see!

Drop your suggestions in the comments!

Come on, 2023! —– Paris or bust!



By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.

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