Lunch is the best time of day to eat in Paris. Then you get to go walk it off afterwards.
In college, my wife did a study abroad in Nairobi, and I did the exact same program in Cape Town. For me, the experience of being in that other culture really set up a longing. When I'm traveling, things seem really sharp. You learn things ten times faster.
My ambition was to be cosmopolitan. I grew up in the suburbs. I went to college in Maine. I had a dream in my head that if you wanted to be the most urbane, living-life-to-the-fullest kind of person, Paris was the place to be.
I never had the idea of moving to Paris and becoming something. I liked the idea of living in Paris because it seemed to have so many parts of life I really enjoyed. The people there seemed to prize literature and art, food and drinking, a more hedonistic way of living.
When I went to Paris, I had a lot of ideas about it that were formed in the sort of ether that flows about if you watch too many recent Woody Allen movies or took French classes as a kid. I was certainly full of those.
Machismo requires Latin blood. I'd say I never experienced machismo up close until I worked in a French office; the typical Wall Street gunner has the soul of a coffee filter in comparison.
I think the place we love the most is the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. It's in the 19th arrondissement. It's where I would go jogging and my wife, Rachel, and I would go for walks. It's appreciated by Parisians but it's not really known to tourists.
Venice, Italy, is one of my favorite cities, a place I've been lucky enough to visit twice.
My ideal vacation isn't about complex maneuvers. I want to arrive somewhere foreign where I don't speak the language, go hiking, then plop down in a sunny square, have drinks, read a book, and see what happens.
My grandmother died from Alzheimer's, and it was a big shock. For the families left behind, it is not an easy closure. It's not a gradual fading. The person is losing so much of their humanity as they're dying. Losing your memories, you lose so much of who you are as a person.
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