Paris is known for its romance: rosy sunsets, dappled canvases, snowy tablecloths with artfully-arranged plates.
And music, of course, without which romance wouldn't exist at all.
On our last trip, we were lucky enough to hear a phenomenal chamber-music ensemble perform Vivaldi and Chopin in this tiny, soaring chapel of the kings. It was truly a transformative experience, heightened all the more by the whining toddler in the section across the aisle: somehow that nagging annoyance made the music even more sublime.
And yet, I can think of half a dozen equally incredible experiences. Walking from the rich luxury of Chateau Versailles into blinding sunlight, triumphant strings mingling with the noise of rushing water in the fountains all around us. Arriving back to our hotel to find a rock concert being performed from the back of a semi at the curb, the top rolled back to reveal drums, bass and plenty of attitude. Cruising past Notre-Dame in the twilight to the strains of amateur guitars and tambourines, along with a chorus of young wine-enhanced voices. More than one Metro musician who moved me to tears (but I didn't stop. I never stop. I wish I could.)
Here, a very different scene: a completely unexpected, outstanding meal. The Latin Quarter is not really my scene (too noisy and filled with tourists) but this Moroccan establishment served tender, juicy chicken cooked with green olives and preserved lemons, roasted potatoes and carrots, couscous spiced with cinnamon and currants, crisp white Burgundy and a casually brilliant jazz guitarist who ensured we would never forget a bite.
Bottom line: you really don't have to look hard to find music in Paris. Open your ears, and it will find you.