Europe 2013: Paris

Posted 08/19/13 by Kate Arends

My feelings about Paris can be summed up in this photo set: I wish I’d been born French. Not only did my hair look better than it ever has in France, the “joie de vivre” lifestyle that made Paris famous was completely intoxicating. A culture that breaks for croissants and believes in making things inherently beautiful? WHERE DO I SIGN UP?

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The surprising thing about Paris was how non-cliche the cliched parts were. The ornateness of the architecture, the romantic views, the street musicians, even the Eiffel Tower itself was impressive, authentic, and culturally significant. Buildings were created with aesthetics and functionality playing equally important roles, and the average French woman will tell you that style equates to timelessness, and fashion is for fun. They’re on to something over there.

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We stayed in Saint-Germain-des-Prés on Rue de Bonaparte, which was bustling with locals, with a few tourists here and there. It was an incredibly safe neighborhood and we felt completely comfortable walking around at night. Our hotel was a few blocks away from Les Deux Magots, and we spent most of our nights exploring cafes close to home.

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Other highlights included the ham and cheese crepes available on every corner, long walks through Montmartre with my lady Dee, and cafe conversations in half English, half French, with strangers seated to our left and right. We sat amongst the most fashionable people in Paris in Le Marais, and Dee put up with my geekiness at Musée du Louvre… so many of the paintings I studied in art history class came flooding back as we walked slowly through the winding hallways.

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I could have spent the entire week in Paris, and another 3 traveling the french countryside. Hopefully I’ll be back to live out that fantasy soon. The last stop of our trip was Prague, which couldn’t be more different than Paris…

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Comments (64)  /   1

  1. I went to Paris this summer as well! Intoxicating. I wish I could move there right now

    Aug 19 2013 | Olivia
  2. Oh, Paris! This is on my “to go places” list. Love the photos!

    Aug 19 2013 | Mailinh
  3. Wow, these pictures are incredibly beautiful and romantic!

    Aug 19 2013 | Quyen
  4. beautiful photos!

    Aug 19 2013 | Jenna
  5. Love the pictures, especially the one of the Louvre pyramid and all the little people. It looks so elegantly vintage.

    Aug 19 2013 | Amy
  6. Oh my! Just when I thought it was impossible to look forward to Paris more. Your pictures are beautiful.

    Aug 19 2013 | rajveer
  7. Such lovely photos, looks like the best trip.

    Aug 20 2013 | Caitlin
  8. I completely agree! I have settled in Germany (coming from CA), but France will always have a big piece of my heart. If you didn’t get enough of it outside of Paris, I posted all last week on our road trip through Paris, Bordeaux and to the stunning southwestern coast. I seriously can’t wait to go back!

    Aug 20 2013 | Kate (@shoegirlinDE)
  9. girl, you said it all so well! this post was perfect.

    Aug 20 2013 | petal and plume
  10. Thanks, lady!

    Aug 20 2013 | Kate
  11. omg where’d you get your sunglasses! they’re soooo pretty!! 🙂

    Aug 20 2013 | Joyce
  12. Hi Joyce! They are by Super Retro Future:

    Glad you like them 🙂

    Aug 20 2013 | Kate
  13. agree. love Paris. wish I was French.
    ps – great photos!!

    Aug 20 2013 | andra / fox lane
  14. I’ve been twice, as soon as I return to the states I only wish I never came home!

    Aug 21 2013 | Sarah
  15. I’m headed to Paris + Nice for the next couple of weeks and your photos just made me that much more excited. You have a gorgeous site, as well!

    Aug 21 2013 | Second Floor Flat
  16. Ah! Your photos. Your style! All amazing!

    Aug 22 2013 | jinerous
  17. Oh wow. These photos are beautiful! Love that white scalloped collar against the deep red sweater. Stunning.

  18. Thank you, Valerie!!

    Aug 25 2013 | Kate
  19. Hi! where did you get your shoes!? Amazing photos! Beautiful!



    Aug 23 2013 | judith
  20. Hi Judith! I purchased the shoes in Amsterdam, but you can buy a similar pair online here, here, and here.

    Aug 25 2013 | Kate
  21. So beautiful. Your words + imagery! Thanks so much for sharing. I have quite an obsession with anything-France. Paris, I do hope to visit someday… but I’m afraid I will never leave if I do. 🙂

    Aug 24 2013 | Latrina
  22. I love your photos, they’re so beautiful! I was curious as to what camera you were using?

    Aug 28 2013 | Marisa
  23. GORGEOUS- the architecture, your hair everything.

    xx Erin

    Aug 31 2013 | Erin
  24. The only reason I don’t live in Paris is because of the cigarette smoke. Send me news of a smoking free Paris and I will send you my new French home address.

    Sep 01 2013 | Melody L.
  25. What stunning, stunning photos. Mmmm! You’ve made me want to return to Paris! Thank you.

    Sep 04 2013 | Emily
  26. Your photos really capture the beauty and refinement of Paris. I need to visit soon!

  27. *Sigh* I dream of living in Paris. I adore it there. I’ll be visiting again at the end of the month and I can barely contain my excitement. It will be my husbands first time there and I’m hoping it sparks a desire in him to live there someday too…

    Sep 04 2013 | Jade Sheldon-Burnsed
  28. I love your jeans in the last picture. Where can I find them?!

    Sep 04 2013 | sydney
  29. Ah, so beautiful, and I love your little annotations for all the photos! Can’t wait till I go there myself <3

    Sep 04 2013 | Lady Indo
  30. I went to Paris for the first time this summer, and agree with so many of the lovely things you said about it. Really beautiful photography here.

  31. Hey, Im going to Paris in November, do you mind telling which hotel you stayed in? Thanks

    Sep 04 2013 | Denia
  32. Can you share some of your restaurant and shopping recommendations? I’m headed to France in a couple of weeks and it would be super helpful.

  33. I too love Paris. I have been there three times. Your pictures have captured the essence of the city.

    Sep 04 2013 | Mary Ann
  34. I miss Paris!!!

    Sep 05 2013 | Sarah
  35. Exactly why I’ve always dreamed about going to Paris!

    Sep 05 2013 | Diana
  36. Wow these are such beautiful pictures.

    Sep 05 2013 | Lizzie
  37. These pictures are incredible! You are making me miss paris!!

    Sep 05 2013 | Mishal
  38. These pictures are so dreamy, love love love them and Paris!

  39. I was stuck in the Paris airport for almost 24 hours because of flight complications and I regret not going to explore the city. I had 3 other siblings around me and they were not budging. I regret it to this day. These photographs are beautiful and I wold love to explore the cafes and watch the fashionable people go by.

    Sep 05 2013 | Monica
  40. These pictures are gorgeous! Dying to see Paris myself!!!
    xo Tia

    Sep 05 2013 | Tia
  41. This is beautiful! I definitely miss being in Paris!

    Sep 05 2013 | Sarah
  42. you have photos from my neighbourhood! la maison rose right next to the vineyards in paris is one of my favourite places to sit and people watch! i’m so glad you enjoyed your trip! come back soon :D!

    Sep 06 2013 | jessca

    Sep 10 2013 | sara
  44. I love this post on Paris! The architecture there makes for amazing pictures. Thanks for the inpiration!!!!

    Sep 24 2013 | Krista
  45. I love this post on Paris! The architecture there makes for amazing pictures. Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

    Sep 24 2013 | Krista
  46. Do you have any specific restaurants or cafes that you really enjoyed? I am heading there next week! Thank you Kate!

    Mar 10 2014 | Katya
  47. I was in Paris for a first time, when I was young. I come in France by the students exchange program.

    I’ve been impressed Paris & Versailles.

    In these times I didn’t have my own camera, because I’ve studied in school. So, now I want to come back with my professional Canon to make so impressive photos of this city!

    Apr 06 2014 | Alex Cardo
  48. Hi Kate!

    Where did you get your jeans? What do you recommend for a good boyfriend jean?

    Apr 27 2014 | Bora
  49. Hi Bora!

    I absolutely love Zara for a good boyfriend jean. It’s a minimal investment and they wear really well!


    Apr 28 2014 | Kate
  50. Very good!

    Sep 07 2015 | Ali