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?
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.
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.
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.
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…
BY Kate Arends - August 19, 2013
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.