What else is there to say?
What is truly amazing is how they keep a city that sees 72 million tourists a year so damn clean! Even the merde de chiens seems to be (for the most part) off the streets, and building by building, the monuments are being scrubbed and blasted back to white stone. Notre Dame looked almost brand new!
My mother's apartment is right off the Champ de Mars, and at night the sparkling lights of le Tour Eiffel dance on her living room floor. Each hour on the hour, if the windows are open, you can hear a collective gasp as necks crane, tourists fumble for their cameras, and Africans sell light-up towers for "un euro, un euro."
The best summary of my trip I can come up with is "Eat, Drink, Walk, Sleep, Rinse, Repeat." Paris in six easy steps. I've spent a lot of time in Paris before - I studied there for a semester during my junior year of college, and lived in the seventh near St. Germain-des-Prés in a tiny flat wedged between the ground floor and the first floor. My then-girlfriend and I would bump our heads on the ceiling, or freeze in the hand-held shower, but somehow, that made it all the more perfect.
It felt good to be back alone. At the Petit Palais, there was an exhibit of Goya engravings that went on for rooms and rooms, each eerier than the last. In the Tuileries, Louise Bougeois had installed a massive iron spider, forty feet tall, which wandered aimlessly amongst some trees.
Paris, it seems, is about this close to perfection. The only thing it needs is a reason for me to live there (that the French Government would approve). Walking instead of driving, buying perfect bread, delicious meat, fragrant cheese, and fresh produce all at different little stores, and walking through a beautiful record of Western Civilization? I could get used to that.