Feb 19, 2023Liked by Hannah Meltzer

"When good Americans die, they go to Paris'.

"Where do bad Americans go?'

'They stay in America'.

...Oscar Wilde

About Paris, Greta Garbo may have said it best in the movie, Ninotchka: "I'm so happy, I'm so happy! Nobody can be so happy without being punished."

As for me, the three words, "Vitality, culture, cuisine."


Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2023Liked by Hannah Meltzer

Hi Hannah, lovely piece as ever.

Paris in three words: friendlier than reported 😂

Expand full comment
Feb 19, 2023Liked by Hannah Meltzer

Hi Hannah,

these are always timed well as I settle into my office to commence work down in Melbourne to find I can put off starting work for juuuust a few moments more :)

I get that sense you mention of showing someone a place whilst also wanting them to have a touristy experience. It's very similar for me as a Brit living in Melbourne and having friends or family come visit. I think you really have to live for a few days as a Melburnian to really get the city and let it sink in (this usually involves a lot of brunching and coffee!)

Anyway, your post got me thinking about the last time I was in Paris, back in 2019. I was there for a conference, but before that started my wife and I had a few lovely days attempting to be Parisians and just walking around and catching the metro and immersing ourselves in the culture. It was great. One of the best memories I have is of us doing a walk that was on this raised section -- the Promenade Plantée? (I had to Google that just now.) It was quiet, it was beautiful, but it also just had locals having a stroll or sitting and reading. It was so peaceful. We also ate a lot of crepes over those days. Then my wife left to go visit her sister in London and I stayed in a super cute apartment near the conference and during that time I had my daily commute-walk and I'd grab a coffee and maybe a croissant and visit the local supermarket and stare at the hundreds and thousands of yoghurts and cheeses. It was only a few days, but it certainly made me feel like I was living there, albeit briefly.

In three words? Hmm. How about: beautiful bustling indulgence

Side note: I finally got around to reading Station Eleven last month. It was written pre-pandemic, but reading it post-pandemic made it perhaps more moving. There's no zombies, but it captured that post-pandemic (>99% mortality) obliteration really well and it was quite a beautiful and serene story about survivors living -- much like in The Last of Us -- 20 years after the event. I haven't watched the TV show of Station Eleven, though I've heard good things.

I'm enjoying The Last of Us, but the first three episodes were really the high-points so far. I found ep 4 to be rather dull and a necessary precursor to episode 5, which felt somewhat predictable in its structure and I felt no sense of loss at the end of that episode because, well, it was just obvious that was going to happen. I'm probably in the 0.1% with those opinions though, haha. Hope your brother is enjoying the comparison with the game (I was too much of a wuss to ever finish it).

Apologies for the essay... I'm clearly not wanting to start work!

Have a great week.

Expand full comment

Lovely post, Hannah, thanks for sharing. I’m finally in Paris for a few days after missing it badly for three years. Thanks for the tips.

Yesterday I discovered the stunning exposition at 59 Rue De Rivoli and afterwards we walked ourselves tired across Paris.

Today we’re staying local and heading over to sacré Cœur.

My three words are: culture, light, beauty. I’ve never been so busy with my camera 😆

Expand full comment

My first year or two in Paris I would get so upset by the question “how is Paris” but now I get it and hear “how are you”.

Three words to describe Paris: gris, merde, charmant

Expand full comment

Hi Darling Hannah

Great peice and very much luring my thoughts toward your enchanting home of Paris.

In three words, for me especially as Kate lives there and having had the pleasure of meeting you ,Its hard to only use three words but they would be:




Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2023Liked by Hannah Meltzer

Hey!!! How is your ankle? Hope all is well my ex-tourist guide friend. I was always better at repairing bikes than guiding tourists. We visit Paris at least once a year, if LA was closer we would make the trip more often. HOME: until last year, it always felt like I was going home, then my son was born in LA, and he loves the sand, the warm weather and playing outside everyday because it rarely rains here. It is hard to imagine my life before him or without him so know I'm torn because I do love Paris but LA is where my heart is. FAMILY: the reason we go back to Paris so often is because my family in law lives in France. I miss visiting new places, which was always a passion of mine, but since we are so far away, my time off is spent in France. AMERICANS: in Paris you can always tell the Americans tourists. They seem so out of place. After 5 years living back in the states I wonder what has become of me, am I 1 American tourist more or did those 6 years in Paris mean something?

Expand full comment
Feb 22, 2023Liked by Hannah Meltzer

This reminded me so much of what it was like to live in San Francisco, pre-tech boom (and after, too, I suppose); just being there was a thing in itself, like the sidewalks sang or something. When people came to visit, every single regular and tourist activity always felt fun, vibrant, new and worth sharing. I think SF and Paris shares those ineffable qualities and that must be what makes them both uniquely suited to la flânerie in a way that I haven't really experienced in other places. Thank you for putting it all into words!

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment