The beauty of Paris’ grandiose architecture, the madness of its meandering streets, and the charm and particularities of its history and people are unparalleled. A few months ago I mused that if I could choose any city in the world to live in for an extended period, I would without hesitation select Paris. Not a surprise, since as a French Canadian, French culture shares many similarities with my own, and yet it is different enough to remain exciting and enticing.
Thanks to a strange and unlikely series of events, Paris appears to have chosen me as well. As the new year starts, so does a new chapter in my adventures; next week I will be starting a job which will give me the opportunity to travel to Paris every year. And not just for brief visits. I may remain there for a few months at a time, which means this blog will soon reflect that change in lifestyle.
If I write about the typical sites and attractions, I will bring a different angle, my own. Paris has so much more to offer than the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa. Steeped in history, art, and literature, the City of Light can be explored from different perspectives, and my stays will permit me to get a feel for the “real” Paris.
From place to place, time has its own texture, and I look forward to experiencing it in the small things: the chances encounters, the coffee consumed at soon-to-be discovered favorites cafés, even in the metro rides from here to there. Furthermore, my great-grandfather was from Paris, and I relish the chance to make this city a part of my own personal history.
Paris has many off-the-beaten track archaeology sites, museums, shops, and parks, but I also want to find little pieces of daily life worth writing about. What are you dying to know about Paris and French culture? Do you have any recommendations? I suspect I will have many ideas (and thankfully French is my primary language), but I would love to hear yours as well!