A “Moveable Feast” That Never Grows Stale

    Photo purchased from Shutterstock by KL

I’m in the air today on the last leg of a long-delayed  return trip to Paris. The last time I was in the city was 1978 (yikes!). I was worried that since then Paris might have gone the way of so many urban cities, losing its charm and character in the endless pursuit of development and “progress. To my delight, I’ve discovered that Parisiennes value (and therefore preserve) their history and characteristic lifestyle. If anything, Paris is more beautiful than it was in the 70’s (that decade was not a cultural high point for most if any cities, as I dimly recall).

I won’t be able to check in again until the wee hours later today, but please share if any favorite location of your extreme youth has also survived the test of time. Have you ever been back after a long absence to a place that emanates  a rosy, nostalgic glow in your memory? Did you find it to be the same as you remember, worse, or better?



9 thoughts on “A “Moveable Feast” That Never Grows Stale

  1. Our youngest is experiencing the “hospitality” of air travel at the airport, on his way to his final semester, beginning in Prague, owing to thunderstorm delays in the ATL~ if you see a harried, Baylor-shirted, 22 year old, that’d be him.

    As to the task at hand~ San Diego seems to have grown gracefully, and DC has managed to maintain its pedestrian scale (though some of the recent monument additions seem more about memorializing themselves than than honoring those they presume to honor).

    Safe travels.

  2. I just returned from Fairhope, Alabama where I spent most summers growing up (we lived all over) and moved to full-time when I was in 7th grade. When I was in high school folks bemoaned the place getting too big. It’s huge now. I hadn’t been back in 15 years. If you plopped me down on Fairhope Avenue and said “Where are you?” I would not have had the faintest idea. The one place that hasn’t changed much is the Big Pier. I did a lot of writing on the bluff overlooking Mobile Bay. Still felt the same. (picture on my Twitter).

  3. Only Paris stays the same. If you read David McCullough’s wonderful book, The Greater Journey, you will see that Americans of the 19th C loved the same wonderful things to do–and some of the same restaurants–as we find today in Paris.

    I just returned to Berlin after 30 years. Wow. I could barely identify anything.

  4. Mackinac Island. It was the ultimate vacation for Michigan kids…a Victorian gingerbread town that you approached by ferry, where no cars were allowed and horses and bikes ruled. Forests, an old fort, and eight miles of pristine Lake Michigan shoreline. When I made my return as an adult about six years ago I almost cried for joy because nothing had changed.

  5. Ms. McC~

    My mother lives in Fairhope~ out on 181 ~ probably NOT as you remember it growing up~ 🙂

    GREAT small/local book store there (one of Mom’s neighbors), too…

    Small world, huh?

  6. I went back to Taos, New Mexico after ten or so years. It was in winter. A light dusting of snow covered the high desert. I swear it was even more magical than I remembered.

    I think I might use that as the opening paragraph of my next story.

  7. On return trip pull up W. S. Merwin’s “The Lost Upland.” You’ll love that part of France.
    Enjoy yourself. Safe return.

  8. Downtown Cincinnati. I used to go down there with my grandfather beginning when I was four or so. He had been a civil servant and knew the city very well. He was also a stamp collector, so we spent a lot of time in the main post office. I loved the tall buildings and the sense of history (this was in the sixties). I love to go back there and walk around the business district. It hasn’t changed that much and it always makes me think of him.


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