Why is the world crying and praying for Paris? Because it’s familiar. Many have already travelled there, many have dreamt of going there, and only very few had a completely neutral feeling towards the city.
Having visited this beautiful city just a short two months ago, my heart broke for the people of Paris, the same way as it breaks for the people in Israel, and in every single country that is affected by terrorism.
At this time, I would like to share positivity. Having had the time to reflect upon my trip over and over again in the past weeks, I came up with five positive conclusions of what makes Paris different from my hometown, and probably different from yours as well.
- How people dress. Although back in September I did write that the style of La Parisienne was not what I expected it to be, it was still very different from the Torontonian. Though in sneakers, you would never catch a Parisian in sweatpants or a baggy sweater in public (I’m sure even in private they look ultra stylish). They have a way of making casual footwear look chic and stylish, by pairing them with a dress or a skirt, or just the cutest top. You rarely catch anybody in a super bright colour – they resort to neutrals or not-so-flashy colours like olive green.
- The way the locals go about their day. It’s quite the sight to see restaurants and cafes lined up on the street, with “patio” tables right on the sidewalk. You could see locals, oftentimes on their own, enjoying their coffee, a cigarette, and their paper, and seeming so nonchalant in their way, that they could have been pulled right out of a movie.
- The shops along l’Avenue des Champs Élysées. This is something magical – even more than Bloor St. here in Toronto, or New York’s infamous 5th Ave. It’s mesmerizing to walk along past the flagships (especially the seven story Louis Vuitton), the restaurants, and my favourite, the Ladurée Paris café, restaurant, and shop. Even the Parisian flagship H&M shop on this avenue has its own unique shopping bag.
- Dessert shops. I may or may not have just stuck to one shop and one dessert while I was in Paris, that being Ladurée macarons, but walking past any Patisserie will leave your mouth watering. There’s something about french baking that is so unique and delicious, and a must-try for anyone visiting France.
- Architecture. Paris is full of architectural history, both old and new. From the Eiffel Tower, to the Louvre, to the pyramids in the courtyard of the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides, Pont Neuf, the fountain of Saint-Michel, Notre-Dame, La Basilique Sacré-Coeur and its surrounding area Montmartre, Paris has a lot to offer to the eyes.
My heart aches for the people of Paris, the lives lost, the hope and feeling of security that is no longer in the hearts of its citizens. It’s beautiful to see the world come together to support one nation’s capital city. We mustn’t forget all the other nations around the world suffering and undergoing attacks, natural disasters, and other fatal events, and we have to keep supporting each other, and hoping for a better, more peaceful future.
I hope one day you will feel safe and secure enough to travel the world, to see Paris, France, and to feel the same feelings I had the pleasure and luxury to experience two months ago.