The light. There’s something about the light in Paris that always gets to me, makes my eyes feel good. When I lived here in 2005 I loved the summer evenings, sitting outside with a carafe of wine under a slowly darkening sky. It seemed that it would never grow completely dark, and as my companions and I drank and ate and planned our next meal I silently gave thanks for the city’s geographical location and for the way the sun worshipped the streets and buildings and people.

That very same light makes, to my eye, the food and produce for sale in markets look better, brighter, tastier. The tomatoes are shiny and firm, and don’t look waxy. The flesh of a duck looks as it should, not violently compressed under a layer of cellophane. Radishes, berries, green beans, lettuces … they all benefit from the light in August.

And I benefit, because that light makes me want to cook and eat and wander the streets of this beautiful place. And that’s what I’m doing now.

Home from buying groceries, and headed to the kitchen

Home from buying groceries, and headed to the kitchen

In the bags above there are two pork chops, some lettuce, radishes, cheeses, wine, beer, Nutella, butter, shallots, eggs and a few other foodstuffs. Angela and I made a simple salad, but a salad whose lettuce had a crisp bite and actual flavor, so unlike most of the lettuces I was forced to eat while living in the desert. The radishes were also crisp, and had a heat that was pleasant and invigorating. I cooked the chops simply, in butter, and made a sauce from the shallots, garlic and some Crémant de Bourgogne “Egrade” brut.

We’ll always have Paris.