In “Midnight in Paris,” Owen Wilson’s character roams the streets of Paris each night. He time travels to meet up with famous historic icons like Picasso and Ernest Hemingway when they lived in the City of Lights.
I didn’t meet any of those people last night as my friend and I walked through Paris at midnight, but I certainly understood how Wilson’s character became so enchanted by Paris.
In my hometown of Denver, most places shut down by 10 pm — but not here in Paris. When we stepped outside our door at 9 pm to walk to the restaurant, the city was pulsing with life. The spring air was unseasonably warm, and every seat of every outdoor table was taken, the streets filled with people out for a stroll.
This is a city for people watching. That is evident by the fact that the chairs at outdoor cafes usually both face the street, rather than each other.
If you stop and sit for a while, you’re sure to see about everything walk by — from people sporting bright, outlandish clothing to the most expensive styles.
That’s why I love just getting out and walking here, for its entertainment all its own. But walking at night is even more magical, perhaps because the city’s sounds are softer, the lights more subdued.
As we ate at Cafe Marley at the Louvre last night, I could see the lights of the pyramids at the famous Parisian art museum reflecting in the wading pools, and the Eiffel Tower in the distance. It was a scene straight from the movies.
Then as our heels clicked on the pavement walking home with our bellies full, I could hear the soft sounds of laughter wafting from the neighborhood pubs, the sound of someone playing the accordion on an unseen street.
Yes, I understand the enchantment of the City of Lights. I, too, have fallen under her spell.