Paris is known as the City of Light but its nickname could just as convincingly be the City of Love. Lovers entangle in the parks, along the sidewalks, and behind not always clasped shades. The architecture, sculpture, fashion, food, wine, and even the weather and language conspire to create a sensual mood. It became popular to affix so-called “love locks” to bridges, but the city has wisely clamped down on that recently since these declarations of love were creating a significant hazard to the bridges’ structural integrity.
Parisian chocolatiers get into the holiday in a big way. Several times I’ve indulged in chocolates at La Mère de la Famille on rue Cler which is one of my favorite market streets, in the 7th arrondissement. Their Valentine’s display often includes boxes of fine chocolates alternately stamped Je t’aime un peu, beaucoup, à la folie, et passionnément (I love you a little, a lot, madly, and passionately).
Back home in the United States, I went to a yoga class where my teacher distributed chocolate squares when our eyes were closed. She placed one atop each yoga mat while we were in the final relaxation posture. Nothing beats coming out of dead man’s pose and spotting a gift of dark chocolate labelled “Bliss.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!