New Year’s Eve in the City of Lights: the magic of equality amongst diversity

Oh Paris….

The most romantic city, this city of lights. The most enchanting city, for some.

For some, Paris is a magical land where dreams come true. For some, Paris is only just a dream that they will never achieve.

This is not what Paris is for me anymore. I’ve had my fill. Paris seems just like any other city for me now. I’ve gazed in wonderment at the Notre Dame, le Sacré Coeur, the Arc de Triomphe, at le Louvre, but little did I know that there was still a little bit of magic left in this grandiose city to behold.

I got a little taste of this magic by spending my New Year’s Eve in Paris. Unfortunately, the fireworks for the evening had been canceled, due to the still occurring state of emergency under which France has been put, but that did not ruin the evening for Joshua and myself.

For dinner, we stumbled upon this up class of sorts restaurant just a few minutes walk off of the Champs-Elysées, and we decided to treat ourselves. After all, we were in Paris, near the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe, and it was New Year’s Eve. We are also young with nothing but opportunity to experience life to the fullest. So, why not? Though this was the most fancy dinner I’ve ever had the chance to eat, I would never eat like this any given day. Thus, it was made even more special by this fact in addition to devouring it with my favorite travel companion.

Appetizer, or what the French call entrée: fresh salmon with butter and fresh lemon on toasted bread

Main dish, or plat principal: a truffle pizza. One of the most delicious pizzas that I’ve ever had in my life. Being as this had been the first time that I’d ever tried truffles, being able to have such an experience in France, where they are of high esteem, made it more delicious, if that were even possible.

Dessert: the most delicious tiramisu that I’ve ever tasted in my entire life, topped with crême anglaise, a light, custard cream poured over desserts, usually flavored with vanilla.

To drink, du vin bien sûr: A 2010 red Bordeaux: Saint-Estephe from Château Beau-Site Haute Vignoble. I don’t usually like red wines very much, but I would have a bottle of this red at my dinner table always.

If this magical dinner wasn’t enough for one night, being within a block of the Arc de Triomphe on New Year’s Eve surrounded by thousands of people from various countries and France alike definitely made the evening more magical.

I’ve seen the Arc de Triomphe multiple times. It is an amazing piece of architecture and an important monument in French history and culture. However, it has become old news for me, but this night, this particular New Year’s Eve, brought back some of its wonderment for me.

A video was projected on the screen near midnight, displaying the French flag across the Arc de Triomphe, allowing all of us, us thousands of people, of different nationalities and ethnical backgrounds, to come together and appreciate the beauty that this one night held. Though most of these thousands of people were most likely probably not French, here we all were in France, celebrating yet another year together and appreciating the beautiful country of France together.

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New Year’s Eve not only brings magic because we celebrate yet another year and look forward to another one, but it brings a different sort of magic. For this one night, not race, nor ethnicity, nor nationality, nor sexual orientation, nor gender orientation, nor religious orientation can separate us. We are all celebrating the same thing on this night. We are all screaming for joy at the opportunity to live for yet another year. This, for me, is where the true magic on New Year’s Eve lies. It was truly this that I was celebrating with Joshua as the clocks turned to midnight and pushed us into the New Year, along with the thousands of others squeezed in around us.

For this night, I am truly thankful. I was able to experience something that was one of a kind and that many people dream of. Sometimes, I feel that my life is a fairy tale. I constantly ask myself, is this really my life?

Why, yes, yes it is, and I have to remind myself daily to be thankful for such amazing opportunities.

Where do you find magic?

Something to ponder about.

A plus mes amis…

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