Each day that I’m in Paris, you’ll find me at the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. It’s my favorite spot in the entire city, and in a place filled with art and beauty, that’s saying a lot.
I’m not sure why it so captures me, but since I first visited five years ago, I’ve felt drawn back to it again and again. Regardless of the time of day, there’s an energy that I find rejuvenating. Whether it’s the jovial crowds of friends picnicking on the steep hills, or the people who slow things down with tai chi, seemingly at all hours of the day, I want to be nearby.
My favorite times to be there, though, are always in the morning. Today, I got up early enough that the park was largely quiet, people moving around solo, or with their still-sleepy dogs, or occasionally with a single friend. There are small signs of spring: yellow tufts of blossoms on thin branches, birds calling to one another and singing their songs. The trashcans were overflowing with the weekend’s debris – empty chip bags and wine bottles drained completely – and I saw an occasional man working, sweeping things aside. I ran a loop, and then another, and walked to various points, drawn by the vistas.
It may well be the best way to start a day here. When complemented by a pastry, bought on the way home, it feels like Paris has fully, already, delivered her magic to me.