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Originally published February 12, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified February 12, 2007 at 7:12 PM

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Postcards from Paris

Feeling the love in the City of Light

Valentine's Day is approaching and the City of Light is living up to its reputation as the City of Love. One-hundred-and-eighty electronic reader boards posted...

Seattle Times travel writer

Valentine's Day is approaching and the City of Light is living up to its reputation as the City of Love.

One-hundred-and-eighty electronic reader boards posted around Paris will flash more than 3,000 Valentine's Day messages on Wednesday sent by locals who were invited to submit love notes online.

In a city with what I think is an undeserved reputation as being filled with people who are cool and aloof, I'm leaving Paris today with several new French connections.

One in particular is a woman named Jacqueline who shares her love with houseguests from around the world..

Jacqueline, 67, runs a bed and breakfast in the house where's she's lived for more than 30 years. When her husband, Jose, an Argentinean architect and artist, was alive, they were constantly inviting guests in for meals, music and parties. After he died, Jacqueline decided to continue the tradition by opening her home to visitors through a bed-and-breakfast program run by an agency called Alcove &Agapes (www.bed-and-breakfast-in-paris.com).

The location in a 17th century building around the corner from the Pantheon in the heart of the Latin Quarter couldn't be better, but it's Jacqueline's warm welcome that has made these last few days a special experience..

She invited me to have dinner with her one evening and made raclette, a potato-and-cheese dish made by pilling little squares of cheese with diced peppers, mushrooms and herbs and melting them in miniature skillets under a broiler at the table.

We went together on Sunday to the market on the Rue Mouffetard where she and Jose used to go to dance and sing to the street music, and we've shared stories in front of the T.V. over glasses of her homemade raspberry liqueur. "It's important for people who are away from home to feel they have a home,'' Jacqueline told me.

After many trips to Paris, it's nice to have found yet a new reason to love visiting this city.

Thanks, Jacqueline, and Happy Valentine's Day.

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