I find Paris to be an extraordinarily beautiful city. Of course there's the obvious beauty 101 items like decades old, historical monuments, intricately designed churches and picture perfect winding streets, but...well actually, let's pause for a moment, because all of these are really well beyond average.
So yes, the city's buildings and face are quite superbe, but Paris' pretty presentation goes further than that. There's the flowers. The flowers aren't just sold stacked inside a tiny shop, or listed online for you to purchase with a click and no sniff.
They are presented on the streets in gradient colors.
They are arrange thoughtfully for the passerby as much as the purchaser.
And of course this same idea applies to food. Bread isn't just sitting in a corner in plastic wrap. It's all displayed so you can smell and choose the right loaf for your needs.
The packaging of mundane things from mustard to salad dressing is also carefully chosen, yet simple, seamless and artfully arranged.
We could talk about desserts for hours, but since you likely can't taste them from where you're sitting, let's just look at the near worship for all the things that can be created with sugar and butter.
Patisseries are artistic exhibitions unto themselves. The colors, textures, size and formations make the items in the cases almost too beautiful to eat. Ok, not that close, but many are indeed works of art.
A friend of mine (perhaps a new best friend after this gift) gave me a box from what is now my favorite Parisian chocolatier, Jacques Genin. It was a silver container made of tin with several layers of tissue and a cover that once carefully opened revealed 9 uniquely designed chocolates that redefined decadent. It was like opening a box from Tiffany's, but actually being able to consume the beauty instead of watching it tarnish.
The Parisians simply know how to package everything very well - from their own stylish, but easy look, to their food, to the flowers, the fashion, windows and beyond. The beauty of the city is seen in all the details.
I can only hope some of this wears off on me!