Weekend escapism

January 19, 2013 in Francophilia, lovely, Paris by Carolyn

I tried posting this earlier in the week, but had technical difficulties. I’m giving it another shot.

Betty in Paris 1

There comes a point after Christmas and after New Year’s when I’m picking spruce needles out of my socks. It’s 37 degrees and the streets are melting glaciers except where they are potholes. I wake up in the dark and I wish to be in Paris.

Betty in Paris 2

Betty in Paris 3

Betty in Paris 4

Yes, it’s cliche, and yes, it’s probably raining there, too, but I can’t help myself. The last time I was leaving Paris I checked out of my hostel and walked along the Rue de Rivoli to catch the Metro. I thought I might actually cry from wanting to stay.

Path of Beauty 2

Path of Beauty 3

I love nearly everything about Paris, even the things I hate. The lack of public restrooms, the expense, the many chances for acute humiliation – alright, maybe not the expense. But I do miss the cheese and pastries, the trains, and the rare Parisian/enne who greets my cultural ignorance with a bemused patience that, after dozens of scornful looks and rude dismissals, feels like a warm embrace with an old friend.

Path of Beauty 1

Path of Beauty 4

So I was thrilled this week to have two beautiful videos set in Paris cross my path. The first, Betty in Paris from Olive Us, follows a little girl as she explores some of the city’s best-known landmarks. It evokes some of my favorite childhood fantasies about being on my own in such a lovely place, creating a combination of enchantment and abandonment that I loved to stir up from the safety of my home.

The second, Path of Beauty by Florent Igla, follows a woman as she walks alone through the Musee du Louvre. It’s a more grown-up fantasy, but it still reminds me of a favorite from my youth. I loved the book From the Mixed-Up Tales of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, in which our heroes run away from home and hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exploring the museum after hours, getting to know its secrets and feeling at home there – it was so illicit and privileged. It’s the same feeling I still get when I am backstage during a play.

I hope you enjoyed this little escape. See you in Paris!

Betty in Paris came from here. Path of Beauty came from here. All screenshots are from the two videos.