Walking In Paris

This post comes from one of our summer interns, FP Gigi!

There are places so deeply enshrouded in mythology that they almost don’t seem real anymore. Paris is most certainly one of those destinations. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend two blissful weeks wandering around the city this past May, and most of the time I found myself feeling astounded just witnessing Paris simply being Paris. I couldn’t contain the reflex of envy springing up inside me when I watched Parisian teens congregating outside of a non-descript and smoky local bar, or an elderly woman on the metro obviously on her way home from work with a baguette tucked inside her worn-in tote bag. These moments of picturesque Paris life made me weak at the knees with delight, and made my Parisian friends roll their eyes giggling at someone finding (to them) monotonous, daily routines so “romantic”.

Parisians have such an unaffected way about them. They spoke quietly, quickly, but the sound was so smooth and unaltered that the melodiousness of the language danced around my head like a beautiful piece of music. Because even on the rather filthy Parisian metro, I found myself discovering twinkles of inspiration and beauty.

The people, like their city, were just as enchanting to observe. Parisians put themselves together so superbly, but I thought the best part was the pragmatism and nonchalance in their appearance. It was honest. Not dictated by trends, or trying to hide the person’s individuality. The women had bare faces, maybe a dash of subtle makeup, and their hair was gloriously unkempt. I loved waking up and immediately being able to embrace the day without the chaotic and time consuming task of hair styling. In a place many regard as the epicenter of the world’s fashion, I began to think less about my appearance and trust my instincts. It was so refreshing. Liberating.

There was also an intimacy between people in Paris I hadn’t seen anywhere else. Everyone would be out till the early hours of the morning talking, laughing, physically absorbing the moments around them. The streets wouldn’t quiet down until about 4 or 5 AM. People had an altruistic commitment to the present, to companionship; their attention was never impeded by a cell phone.  It was a different experience that reminded me to not hide from natural silences at the end of conversations, and to spend time with friends watching their lovely faces rather than a computer screen.

You know, I still can’t quite put my finger on why Paris is so… cool. But, that’s the point isn’t it? To defy explanation protects the magic.

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

– Ernest Hemingway

paris (2)

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

Comments

  1. I have lived those times too! absolutely loved going through your pictures and post refreshed all my memories! although I was there in Feb It didn’t keep Paris from being “Paris” :-)

  2. I haven’t been to Paris, but these sentiments cause me to reflect back to my days in Buenos Aires… please, Free People, give Gigi more writing opportunities, because everything feels so soft and surreal. This article has meat on its bones.

  3. I love this post Gigi!! You have a beautiful way of writing and a wonderful perspective.

  4. This post so makes me want to go! Thanks for sharing! What kind of camera was used to take the pictures?

  5. lovely photos & a great post! i especially love the quote by Ernest Hemingway. he’s one of my favorite authors.

    xoxo, Oleah
    travel-simply.blogspot.com

  6. As a french girl, I love Paris ! City of my heart ! I lived there 2 years.
    I love what you say. It’s really interesting to read your point of view.
    But I think parisians are arrogant and pessimistic. I know. It’s a generality. But it’s really a shame for such a beautiful city.

    xx,
    Maïa
    http://www.wildandfolkheart.blogspot.com

  7. Such lovely photos! And I have to say, this quote is fantastic: “To defy explanation protects the magic.”

    Beautiful Gigi!

    xo
    Jess

    moondancerdiaries.wordpress.com

  8. how lovely!!! I miss Paris. I was there in October. To see the sites with real eyes, made me think that all the photos I’ve seen of Paris, just doesn’t give it justice. It is one city that one must really see for themselves to really appreciate the grandeur and beauty. I wish to go back. And I hope next time I get to visit Monet’s garden and visit The Louvre. Your photos are lovely.

    Greets from the Philippines,
    G

    http://www.gieangoestoamsterdam.tumblr.com

  9. Such a lovely post, Gigi! This might be an oxymoron, but you’ve captured the je ne sais quio of Paris so well!

  10. Woa. I was having this exact same trip the same time you were. I also did Versailles and the Monet gardens. Were you on my tour bus?? I even put a lock right where you took that photo by Notre Dame on June 30th.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.