After leaving the Place des Vosges, I walked briskly up to the Musee Carnavalet. My combat boots thudded on the pavement for I was dressed to make the most of my very short time in Paris and not to catch the eye of Mr. Cunningham.
But, as always, when I turned into the gardens, which, kindly are available for the gander before the museum's entry, time did what it always does in that particular spot: pirouette, curtsy, stop.
I must have had that goofy smile on my face for I could feel one of the gardner's gaze swish across me like a shadow. She was about my age and also a redhead, just a more miniature Parisienne version of me. Yes, she even had that certain panache despite her bright green "Jardins de Paris" jumpsuit.
"You have an amazing job," I blurted out with a vaguely show-girl arm sweep towards the topiary surrounding us.
She laughed, startled by my directness but nodded her head in agreement. "It isn't always so glamorous though," she added and I responded with "I am not so sure about that" head shake. We chatted a bit more and then wished each other a Bonne Journée.
As I continued towards the rue des Rosiers to sate my months-long craving for a felafel with all of the fixings (truly one of the great take-out options in Paris at only 5.50 Euros a pop), I thought, "That is why I am still mad about the Marais and always will be."
For despite that every. single. storefront has been transformed into a clothing boutique featuring cool goods the likes of which I could never begin to afford...
...it is in this neighborhood that I feel the bonhomie that often eludes me elsewhere in the City of Light. And that makes the city not quite so big after all. I sat down on a bench in one of my favorite little squares and munched happily, shivering slightly while I did so and sighed a little valentine to the beautiful Marais.