Tuesday, June 8, 2010

London Is The New Paris

While some might disagree, I must admit that I think London IS the new Paris. Cool and charming, London stands apart from the cold metropolis of Paris. Maybe it is because I speak English and my mother's family came from England. Perhaps it is the familiarity of American history intertwined with the British narrative. But it may just be that London is a beautiful city; historic architecture, witty and kind citizens, cute taxi cabs, double decker red buses, lovely parks, wonderful shopping & food....well, NOT the food. I give that one to Paris.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Recently my sweet husband took me to both London and Paris for our tenth anniversary. There were many similarities in both places. Much of what I had found so charming in Paris was equally if not more wonderful in London. Westminster Abbey for instance is London's Notre Dame (without the flying buttresses). There was a beautiful choir in Notre Dame singing medieval music when we were there that seemed to transport you back to when Joan of Arch walked the aisles of the nave. Westminster on the other hand, had the most adorable old men dressed in robes to act as your guide; ever so eager to assist with any questions, and ever so personable and proud to introduce an American to their culture.

Westminster Abbey's facade

Paris has chewing, gooey, mouthwatering macaroons filled with soft cream; only really and truly tasty if you can get them fresh and in Paris. They are given to you carefully in a little bag neatly tied for you to take home and eat later with your coffee. It is only the rude foreigners who break the seal and sneak the pastry in a nearby alley so the French will not spy their unfavorable and barbaric actions.

London has their equivalent of the French macaroon. They look similar with their round tops and bottoms painted in vibrant colors; middles that ooze fresh whipped cream. These are the English whoopee pies. Harrods department store sells hundreds a day. After being in line forever people can not even wait to eat them. With hand in bag not two seconds after paying, their mouths are stuffed with the pastry. Off into the street they boldly go brushing their mouths and licking their lips.

Even though London is now MY new Paris, I still love both cities. And I still plan to visit both hopefully more often!

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