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Best of All Worlds

By Tory Hoen

Since I moved to Paris, a few of my friends back home have labeled me an America-hater, or more specifically, a New York-hater.

Not true and not true!

I am tired of being accused of urban infidelity. I refuse to choose. I am content to be an urban swinger if it means I can enjoy the best of both worlds. Are we not allowed to love two cities at once?

People who try to make me pledge my allegiance to a single city annoy me almost as much as people who insist that I choose between cats and dogs, which I've always thought is totally nonsensical and unnecessary. (Apologies to certain readers that I am inevitably offending). But just so you know: neither dogs nor cats are going anywhere. You can enjoy them both forever.

When I first met Renee and Theresa, two of my most glorious Paris friends, we had an epiphanous moment when we realized we all saw eye-to-eye on this issue. Dogs are fun. Cats are nice too. The world balances itself out. We don't have to choose. We became fast friends. (They get it.)

For me, the dog-cat-balance also applies to cities. If anything, my time in Paris has made me love New York even more, if only because I now objectify it in the same way I used to (and still often do) objectify Paris. And why not? There is no clear line between the reality of a city and your own image of it. A city is what you believe it is. Like a cat is what you believe it is-- a nice friend.

So, yes, when I visit New York in May, I will likely complain about the dearth of worthwhile bread, cheese and affordable French wine. My blood pressure will rise. I will roll my eyes at the newest speakeasies to hit the "underground" bar scene. But secretly, I will really, really like it, and I will remember why all Parisians think New York is soooooo cool.

Yesterday, I sat on the bank of the Seine for a long time, watching the sun get lower in the sky. It was quite pretty, but I found myself really, really wanting a black and white milkshake from A Moveable Beast, appears regularly on Gradspot.

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