I’m friends with a couple about to set off for Paris for their first visit. How I envy them. My upcoming memoir looks back fondly to my first days in Paris. If there is magic in the world, it exists there. Though the man and wife who are about to fly there are retired, I’m willing to bet they’ll find romance in the air — from the young lovers kissing on the benches along the river Seine, to the lavish architecture of Notre Dame, it’s spires reaching skyward to embrace God.
Of course, there’s art, wine and music… But I must stop extolling the city. I’m drooling as I write. If you’ve been to Paris, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, for heaven’s sake, remedy the situation.
Nothing seems to stifle the lure of the place. Despite Charlie Hebdo (Click), despite the police shoot-out on the Champs-Élysées (Click) and despite the other terrorists attacks, (Click) tourists flow to Paris like the river at its heart.
Some may be surprised to learn that despite the violence, the number of five-star hotels has risen over the past decade. “By 2018 seven luxury hotels will have opened and six will have been considerably upgraded…” (“A Sanctuary From Terror,” by Lindsey Tramuta, Fortune, August 1, 2017, pgs. 40-42) True, American tourism has dropped by 30%, but Europeans have made up the difference, attracted by added features like high teas, roof top concerts and luxurious spas. (Ibid pg. 41.)
Don’t expect any bargains because of the disruptions. Paris is a contender for the 2024 summer Olympics. If that happens, the closest you’ll come to seeing the city is by flying over it on your way to Hogwarts.