It’s been nearly a week since I’ve returned from Paris and everything feels wrong, out of sorts. Truth be told I’ve never experienced this, never ached for a city that I’d left behind. Never looked at New York, my home, as if it were a stranger. But lately, my home feels as if it’s lost its sheen, like lipstick kissed off one too many times, like a dull film that pales everything in its wake. My city is losing color, vanishing, and I’m not sure what to do about it.
Having grown up in New York, I don’t fall for the folly that is the city of storybooks and glitter gloss. More like I think of Eliot’s London, an unreal city, the motley lot crossing a bridge that could crumble, cave and collapse at any minute. I’m rational, pragmatic, knew the city when it was playing a woeful tune, so it’s strange that I would fall rapturously in love with Paris. Perhaps it’s the food, the feeling of the familiar, the uncanniness of the city; I found myself constantly comparing it to New York. Who does this? Who thinks of leaving everything that they’ve ever known behind? To break new ground, to grow.
Who considers this at 36?! Crazy.
Anyway, one of the most magical parts of my holiday was my hotel. Typically, I look for clean, quiet and safe places of which I can lay my head down, however, Hotel Original certainly lives up to its very grand name. Each room is a work of art, fashioned from a whirlwind of whimsy to transport guests to a strange, sublime world. Perfectly appointed, Hotel Original is located in the Bastille district — down the block from the metro, surrounded by bistros, boulangeries and shops — but the soundproof rooms make you feel as if you’re lounging in the countryside. I absolutely adored my rooms (I stayed there twice while in Paris, don’t ask), which were themed after the Seven Deadly Sins. From the scented toilet paper to the biodegradable toiletries to the faux-fur comfort and straw lamp — the beauty is certainly in the details. Not only did I love my room, the organic morning breakfast, but you can’t find more accommodating staff in Fabien + Katia. I’ve stayed in many, many hotels, and they both made me feel right at home.
If you’re traveling through Paris, I can’t recommend Hotel Original ENOUGH.