13 September 2013

New York vs Paris

I went to Paris once.  Ready to experience all that Paris was supposed to offer.  I’d seen the movies.  I had read the books.  I’d spoken to people that had been there. I’d met French people I liked who loved their capital city. I’d studied its history. I’d engaged with Francophiles and I knew I didn’t have to eat snails.  All of them – the story tellers, the movie makers, the friends, the Francophiles told me I’d love Paris.

They lied.

It smelled of urine.  Lots and lots of urine.  The city of love smelt like an underpass in a not so affluent London suburb.  The people were rude. The sights were closed. The Eiffel tower so less impressive from the inside and I hadn't budgeted for Moulin Rouge. 

Paris was not what I had gone to see.  I’d loved Paris before I went there. Passionately.  I’d been seduced by her long before I met her.

I didn’t like her.  Like so many blind dates – we didn’t gel.  We had no future.  



And so I have not been to New York. 

I’ve experienced New York so many times.  King Kong, Big, Tootsie, The Squid and the whale, When harry met sally, Fame, The Godfather, West Side Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, American Psycho, Goodfellas, All That Jazz, Hannah and Her Sisters, Annie Hall, and Saturday Night Fever.  

My husband has been and loved it.

It’s a resilient city.  It houses a number of amazing people – strong, focussed, and inspirational.  It’s been the background to a number of historical and modern imperatives that have changed the way life ‘as we know it’ works. 

It’s the background to Zoolander.

I love New York.  I want to tramp the pavements. Count the blocks. Eat, drink, sleep, dream it.  I might even pretend to like coffee just to drink coffee in New York.  I definitely imagine that New York would transform my sartorial self into something glamorous, elegant, and appropriate.

My New York is wonderful. Sublime.

So guess what?

I might never go no matter how awesome it sounds.  . 
"Annie Hall quote - Alvy Singer: Don't you see the rest of the country looks upon New York like we're left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way sometimes and I live here."
 I love New York.  I loved Paris.  And so New York wins.  Because the reality is never as good as the dream.





** In the interests of full disclosure and all that jazz... This post is written in response to a competitive challenge issued on the eve of the Problogger conference 2013.