The quote I love the best about Paris is Ernest Hemingway’s:
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
His quote captures everything about Paris in just that one sentence, for indeed it is a movable feast for all the senses and as he says, if you are lucky enough to live in Paris as a young person (I was) then it remains with you, as a part of you, no matter where you are!
Another Hemingway quote that I love:
Il n’y a que deux endroits au monde où l’on puisse vivre heureux: chez soi et à Paris.
(There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris.)
Though I often looked for one, I finally had to admit that there could be no cure for Paris.
From The Paris Wife
(A novel about Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley.)
Everything ends this way in France – everything. Weddings, christenings, duels, burials, swindlings, diplomatic affairs -everything is a pretext for a good dinner.
Here are some more famous and not so famous quotes that I like about Paris.
J’ai deux amours…..Mon pays et Paris.
(I have two loves…..my country and Paris.)
I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely.
America is my country and Paris is my hometown.
In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.
An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.
My best efforts were some modern things that looked like very lousy Matisses. Thank God I had the sense to realize they were lousy, and leave Paris.
In Paris everybody wants to be an actor; nobody is content to be a spectator.
Les Français sont des Italiens de mauvaise humeur.
(The French are Italians in a bad mood.)
In America only the successful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in England no writer is important, and in Australia you have to explain what a writer is.
The first thing that strikes a visitor to Paris is a taxi.
In Paris, one is always reminded of being a foreigner. If you park your car wrong, it is not the fact that it’s on the sidewalk that matters, but the fact that you speak with an accent.
Traffic lights in London are imperative, in Paris – they’re suggestive, in Rome – they’re decorative.
Something I’ve always said.
Boy those French, they have a different word for everything.
France is the only country where the money falls apart and you can’t tear the toilet paper.
(Actually, Wilder’s quote was true back in the day! When I first came to Paris I use to write home on the toilet paper because it was so sturdy!)
Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and this hasn’t changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.
I thought of Paris as a beauty spot on the face of the earth, and of London as a big freckle.
When we arrived in London, my sadness at leaving Paris was turned into despair. After my long stay in the French capital, huge, ponderous, massive London seemed to me as ugly a thing as man could contrive to make.
James Weldon Johnson
It’s true that the French have a certain obsession with sex, but it’s a particularly adult obsession. France is the thriftiest of all nations; to a Frenchman sex provides the most economical way to have fun. The French are a logical race.
I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris and I have enjoyed it.
Pres. John F. Kennedy
L’Americain de Paris, c’est ce que l’Amerique a fait de mieux.
The best of America drifts to Paris. The American in Paris is the best American. It is more fun for an intelligent person to live in an intelligent country. France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older—intelligence and good manners.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.
Honoré de Balzac
I love Paris in the summer, when it sizzles.
I’d like to see Paris before I die. Philadelphia will do.
This is what you do on your very first day in Paris. You get yourself, not a drizzle, but some honest-to-goodness rain, and you find yourself someone really nice and drive her through the Bois de Boulogne in a taxi. The rain’s very important. That’s when Paris smells its sweetest. It’s the damp chestnut trees.
Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina
I love this film! Woody Allen is so perceptive about how we humans are never satisfied with the here and now and we’re always yearning for another time, another era, where things were better than they are now….
That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me.
Adriana in Midnight in Paris
What is it with this city? I need to write a letter to the Chamber of Commerce.
Gil in Midnight in Paris
Adriana: I can never decide whether Paris is more beautiful by day or by night.
Gil: No, you can’t, you couldn’t pick one. I mean I can give you a checkmate argument for each side. You know, I sometimes think, how is anyone ever gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony, or a sculpture that can compete with a great city. You can’t. Because you look around and every street, every boulevard, is its own special art form and when you think that in the cold, violent, meaningless universe that Paris exists, these lights, I mean come on, there’s nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune, but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafés, people drinking and singing. For all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.
Maya Muses: In the spirit of Josephine Baker and Gertrude Stein I add my own quote:
My allegiance is to my country, but my heart belongs to Paris.
And in the spirit of Ernest Hemingway, my own quotes are:
Paris was one big party! When I left, no matter where I was or where I went, when I thought of Paris, I had the impression that the party was still going on and I was the only one without an invitation.
One experiences life differently with each passing decade and although it’s wonderful to live in Paris at any moment in your life; nothing compares to living in Paris when one is young!
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