Still Vivid by Michalene Baskett

Over two years later, my first stay in Paris is still vivid in my memory and heart. Some experiences are so intense that they forever remain with us. That is how Paris is with me. I remember and revel in each smell, each sight, the tastes, the sounds, each touch. In Paris, my senses were so aroused that it was like the feeling of falling in love for the first time. I want to return to Paris again and again so that I can fall in love all over again. I want to walk down the street smelling the baking bread from Boulangerie Moderne near the Pantheon in the 5th arrondissement, be spellbound by the intoxicating scent of roses as I walk in the charming shop, ``au nom de la rose'' on rue du Bac that sells only roses and rose scented perfumes and sprays, be dazzled by the aromas, sights and sounds of the market at Place Maubert each morning. I want my eyes to fill up with the beauty of art at the Roden Museum or the Musee d'Orsay, experience the sparkle of the Eiffel Tower at night, be awed by the vastness of the city from Monmartre. As I cross the Seine on the Pont Neuf, I want to feel beneath my fingers, the hundreds of layers of slick paint covering the cold hard iron of that beautiful ornate bridge. I want to awake to the sounds of the city outside my apartment window -- hear that romantic language and the sounds of Edith Piaf as background music. I want to taste... everything -- the intensity of the peppery olive oil from a l'Olivier on rue de Rivoli, the greenness of spring asparagras or the sensual soft center of the macaroons at Laduree on rue Royale in the 8th, a perfect roasted chicken or a huge choucroute plate at Brasserie Lipp on boulevard Saint-Germain, the sensuality of chocolate lavender truffles from Debauve & Gallais on rue de Saint-Peres. I want to spend my vacation time in no other city but Paris.

Michalene Baskett - Decatur Georgia, United States