Next Stop: London + Paris
Everyone always asks why we keep returning to these two cities, over and over again. “Why not try something else? Somewhere else?”
“But we’re in love,” I always reply.
We are in love, truly — and how couldn’t we be? Both of these places are home to us — these cities are full of memories, stories, friends. They are both places that we’d move to in a heartbeat, given the chance. In each, we have a life — memories we’ve made, people we love, places we miss, food we dream of — and these parallel lives exist only within those memories most of the time. I’m just so overjoyed to get to live as London Nico, Paris Nico — free to exist as I wish within these magical spaces for a few days at a time.
The memories are sharp, fresh — as if they happened yesterday. Mark’s proposal on the stone bench at the Luxembourg Gardens, my class ring a stand-in until we could afford a proper one. Late dinner of tartare de bœuf at Le Pré aux Clercs after arriving from the countryside, our laughter echoing through the tiny, cozy cafe. Finally buying our rings from Nadia at Cartier on Place Vendôme — she kept forgetting we were Americans and would return from the vault cackling in French, holding piles of little crimson boxes. Wandering around the Barbican once, twice, three times — totally in awe of its presence, its character. Late nights in Soho, with bottles of champagne in basement nightclubs and 3am club sandwiches at Balans surrounded by best friends. Wandering Paul Bert-Serpette, completely overwhelmed with beauty and silently crying with joy. Good, old-fashioned American gossip over cocktails in perfect little apartments down quiet, dark streets. Savoring each bite of the burnt courgette tzatziki at Palomar, queuing for hours for buns at Bao, inhaling the perfect falafel whilst wandering the Marais at L’As du Fallafel. My metro strategies, my temperature meltdowns, miles and miles and miles of walking.
I ache for these cities — I yearn to return the moment we leave. And I’m so incredibly lucky to be returning again, as we surely shall return many times in the future. We’re returning to those places and people we love so, so dearly — and I’m excited to share it all here, for you.