If you happen to follow me on Instagram, which is unlikely as I have fuck-all followers, you’ll have noticed that it’s been basically 100% Paris for the last week or so. I’ve visited France many times, and passed through Charles De Gaulle airport countless times, yet I’ve somehow never visted Paris. This year, I finally made it.
My Mother and I decided to visit Paris together in part as a goal for her to focus on after her knee surgery (she’s fine btw) and we had a really wonderful time. I completely fell in love with the city, and while I knew it was going to be beautiful, I wasn’t quite sure how I’d feel about it. I often find that all the big, famously-wonderful cities don’t resonate with me. I’ve been underwhelmed by London, Barcelona and Sydney, preferring Manchester, Cartagena and Cairns. I often find that I enjoy a slightly slower pace of life, and I thought Paris might be more of the same.
Instead, I found a city that is buzzing with life, neither rushing to get places of ambling along in a daze. It has a brisk pace, people making their way steadily to their destination, only to linger over a glass of wine of a cup of coffee once they get there. People are both relaxed and intense, studious and careless, making their way through life perfectly balanced between the two. It was a vibe I wasn’t expecting but found that it really resonated with me. In Paris, relaxation is a serious matter.
The architecture made me almost angry, because every single building was beautiful. I love Manchester, the city I call home, but Paris put it to shame in many ways. The truth is really that it’s just different, but it gave me an idea of how cities could be if designed with real love and care, and by the French. I strongly subscribe to the theory that everything should be either beautiful or useful, but ideally both. Whether it was the buildings themselves or the tiny touches, huge amounts of thought and care has gone into the city. I spotted catches to hold window shutters carved in the shape of a woman’s face, drain covers with art deco styling and wrought iron balconies in the shape of the fleur de lys.
I think I finally understand why so many people have falled in love with Paris over the years. It’s hugely romanticised in cultures around the world and in media, and while it’s not always picture perfect, it’s pretty enchanting in the right circumstances. I can imagine that on a grey winter morning it’s much the same as any other city, and incredible food isn’t a guarantee unless you’ve got cash to splash, but there’s no denying that it’s stunning. I’ll be back.
There’s a whole load of Paris content coming your way soon, but for sneak peeks of my photos your best bet is Instagram. My Mum did a cracking job as my photographer so shout out to her for being completely wonderful!