Paris: A Springtime Cliche

Though the idea of spring in Paris has certainly captured the attention of writers and songsters to the point where we roll our eyes at the mention of April in the fabled city, there is something there.
I will never forget the first relatively warm day in Paris (I was fortunate to spend my junior year in college there) after wintering under grey skies and wearing black on black relieved only by my dirty white keds and a red plaid scarf for color. On that day, shortly after Easter, I put on a shirt with a lavender floral pattern, a short skirt, and some purple suede flats. I got on the Metro at Michel Ange-Auteuil, changed trains at Odeon, and got off at Chatelet. I emerged into the bright sunlight, uncaring that the temperature was still a touch cool for my short sleeves (I had a sweater, but I’d stashed it in my bag), and I walked. I walked to the river, crossed onto the Ile de la Cite via the Pont Neuf, meandered through the gardens behind Notre Dame de Paris all the way to the Pont St. Louis. I crossed over to the other little island, seeking Berthillon and its famous ice cream. Though, again, it was a touch to cold for glaces, I indulged anyway because I was so eager for the new season, the dazzling sun, and the fresh city. The ice cream was sweet and, well, creamy. The grass in the park was tender and bright. I sat down there, and the new blades prickled my pale, bare legs.

They warmed my heart, that walk and that ice cream. I was ready for a change from dreary winter. And I was not the only one…Bertillon was packed.
So what is it about spring? Paris? Springtime in Paris? Are they mere cliches, or is there something about the emergence of life after winter that calls to us on a basic level? Have you ever taken a walk that changed your outlook?

(photos of Paris from and

11 thoughts on “Paris: A Springtime Cliche

  1. I was in Paris once–for about 4 hours. It was almost springtime–and very pretty. My husband and I ran all over trying to see everything we could in such a short time. 🙂

  2. Emma says:

    I visited Paris for the first time last July and loved it but it was very very busy. I’d like to go back in Spring to see how it looks. That’s so cool that you spent time there in college.

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Hi Emma! Paris is the number one tourist destination in the world. And for good reason…but that does make for some crowded sightseeing. I love looking back on my time in Paris. I do admit to some rough spots while I was living there, though. 🙂

  3. Jennette Marie Powell says:

    I actually have been to Paris in the spring, when I went for spring break when I was a senior in high school. So much to see, and yes, wonderful walk when it was nice. A couple of days it was rainy and yucky, so I have photos of my best friend wearing a poncho in front of the Eiffel Tower. It wasn’t exactly life-changing, but it was very worth seeing and I’m thankful I had the opportunity!

    • Kecia Adams says:

      At least you were prepared with a poncho, Jennette! What a great class trip. I think we went to New York (from Philly) on our senior trip. Also interesting because Times Square was NOT cleaned up like it is now. 😉

  4. journalpulp says:

    I’ve unfortunately never been to Paris, and I’ve never seen Stockholm in springtime either, but Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break — now that will change your life.

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Ft. Lauderdale. Hmm. Been there too. 🙂 Not sharing THAT little trip down memory lane tho’ (even if I could remember all of it)! And you know, Where the Boys Are (1960) is THE Ft. Lauderdale classic. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Has some surprising depth to it. And George Hamilton when he had a REAL tan.

  5. journalpulp says:

    The HamilTAN, as he himself calls it.

  6. Kecia,
    I was lucky enough to be in Paris for six days last month. It was glorious–although it rained at least a little every day and the temperatures were in the low to mid fifties. Am I a Pollyanna for thinking Paris is even more beautiful as she glistens after a rain? Berthillon on the Ile-St. Louis was temporarily closed, but an endless number of places opened their doors to us. I was dazzled by the symmetry of the Tuileries, the Jardin du Luxembourg, and the Jardin des Plantes. I could go on and on.

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