A Moveable Feast

Article posted in: Lifestyle

We were on our honeymoon, and we were in Paris. How could it get any better? We weren’t too far removed from college, so we stretched our dollars til they barked. Each morning, the old woman who ran the cheap, ancient hotel we had found would ride the clattering elevator to the top floor and knock on our door to deliver coffee and warm milk, and a plate of bread, butter and jam. Not the healthiest way to start the day, but what else could you possibly eat while looking out at the rooftops and the river?

We’d get by on sandwiches for lunch, saving our money for a nice dinner. We spent an inordinate amount of time studying the menus in the windows of the cheap restaurants, the only kind we could afford, as if they would be different. Each one offered three courses—an appetizer, an entree and dessert. Lentils, fish, tarte. Carrots, pork, cheese. Each one spectacular. This was what food could be.

On our last night, we sought out what we were told was the best chicken in all of Paris, at a place on the Rue Christine. (I remember because we have a daughter named Christine.) We looked at the menu as a man in chef’s whites, smoking a cigarette, regarded us as he leaned against the restaurant’s door. I asked him if the chicken was as good as we had heard. He waved a single finger back and forth, the universal symbol of the fact that I was wrong. He then pointed it across the street, at another restaurant. “The chicken there will change your life,” he said. He stubbed out his smoke and went back inside.

It was amazing chicken. And while it didn’t change our lives, Paris did. Here’s hoping Paris, the city of light, will always have its ability to change lives.