joi, 16 august 2007

Great winter cities

Everybody loves Paris in the spring, but I love it better in the winter...Rome, Vienna, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, New York...They all have twice their standard summer brochure charm when the trees are bare.
No sun, no moon, no morn, no noon, no dawn, no dusk, no shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, November- as the Thomas Hood rhyme goes. And soon November will come. And there will be no tourists either. The pragmatic advantages of going to somebody else's city in winter are without number. You can find a taxi, you can get theater seats, you can insist on a good table in a good restaurant, you can get within ten feet of your favorite Impressionists in the museum, and the department stores are pleasantly busy than frenetically full.
That's why I love Paris better in the winter when the boulevard cafes are closed in, the radiators are glowing warmly and there's the best of excuses for lingering an hour over that last cup of coffee, that it's raining cats and dogs.
Rome, Vienna, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, New York... I love them all better in the winter when the prevailing street smell is no longer vanilla ice cream and fried onions, but roasting chestnuts from the only vendors still bothering to do business. London, as Sherlock Holmes would be the first to tell you, is at its most appealing in November.

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