2013 11 20 16.56.29 min min


It was the BEST of times...


2013 11 18 10.24.26 min


Can you rightfully continue to call your hometown a "city" once you have seen Paris from the top of La Tour Eiffel? How will you refer to the items in that box on your dresser, after you have been dazzled by the Crown Jewels? Is that building, so full of civic pride, still worthy of the title "museum" after you have wondered the halls of Impressionist masters at the Musée d'Orsay? What is art at all, once one has literally had the breath taken from their lungs upon looking up and the realization of Jacques-Louis David slowly sinks in.


2013 11 22 15.38.26 min


What boulevard is worthy of the title, after you have strolled the Champs-Élysées? Will the girls at the local mall ever seem "hot" again after you have seen the ultimate class of women of all types decked out in Givenchy, Dior, Saint Laurent and designers so new the names are as yet unknown on the other side of "the pond". Do I now need to re-read all my Sherlock after having taken Baker Street as simply "the lane around the corner"? What book will ever include the experience of realizing that the chapter of The Black Count I am currently reading, took place where I am sitting? Do I still take Google Translate for granted after viewing THE Rosetta Stone? Was all that effort we put into trying to save that 150 year old building a joke, once you find out that people still live in the Tower of London where the White Tower was begun by William The Conqueror in the 11th century?


How will something as trivial as my morning coffee ever be able to live up to the lingering taste of Café Americain and a warm croissant?


2013 11 21 10.07.24 min


Then, on the looooong flight from Heathrow, you remember that when you introduced yourself as "a stupid American" to that group at your first English pub, you responded to their question with "California" and the look in their eyes was pure envy. You recall the beautiful hope of the pedi-cab driver who was saving up so he could go up the Empire State Building and stand on the span of the Golden Gate. The couple whose dream it was to simply see the Hollywood sign and stand in front of Grauman's Chinese. You still hear the beautiful accent of the Parisian who asked what New York was like, but realize your answer was "the same as Paris, only different".


Your wife picks you up after the journey and you realize there is no more beautiful woman on the planet PERIOD. The car pulls in to the driveway and what a day ago you referred to as "a shack" compared to Buckingham, is now calling to you with the comfort only home can bring. Your kids wait expectantly on the souvenirs and it is better than the best Christmas morning, EVER.


I cannot wait to see Hyde Park again. Next time I want Paris in the Spring. But just like Dorothy, the one thing my trip to the two Emerald cities has made clear, is that there is no place like home...


Thank you David, my son, I will be forever grateful.



Originally published as a NOTE


Jose Rosa

Jose Rosa

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