Simply put, Paris is a city of inspiration. Everything I see has its own appeal, from the looming Tour d’Eiffel peeking out from all corners of the city, to the put-together and stern appearances of the native Parisiens, to the perfect golden crust of galletes and baguettes in the windows of the countless boulangerie-patisseries, even the way that the language bounces off my ear drums like a song (that I sometimes have to focus too hard to understand).
Paris is everything you read about in stories. It is everything you imagine when you close your eyes and listen to the croon of Edith Piaf (just as I am now, admittedly!). And what is more amazing is that I am painting myself into the picturesque image of Paris each and every day!
This past Sunday, Kortney and I were the subjects of Janey’s photoshoot at various locations in Paris – the RER stations, the colorful tile mosaic of the St. Michel Notre Dame stop, the love-lock bridge. We put on our best “model behavior” faces and stepped in front of the lens. Here are some of the results:
My favorite location was the lock bridge. This is one of those things that really is a testament to how romantic a city Paris really is. The idea is as follows: you go to this bridge, which is suspended over the scenic Seine, with a lock that adorns the name of you and your lover, and you attach it to the bridge and throw the key into the depths of the Seine. There are so many locks that it is rumored that the bridge has started to sag from the weight! I, of course, had to do this for my boyfriend, Bryan, and I. Mainly because I am a hopeless romantic and with the idea that someday we could return and find it. It was something I could do while he is far away from me in the United States, working hard in Norfolk, and I am in France missing and loving him. This was my way of bringing a little piece of him to Paris so that he can feel like he is here with me.
It was really fun to be the subject of Janey’s artwork (you can find her photography blog here: overexposureblog.blogspot.com). In a city where people-watching is acceptable and encouraged, it was cool to know that, for one day, I could have been the subject of what people in Paris wanted to watch. Maybe they will think about the silly American girls posing for a camera and laughing self-consciously later in the day. Maybe it will inspire them, just as this city has inspired me to learn the language, to take good photos, to fit into the culture.
So many greats – Hemingway, Dali, Van Gogh – and their works were driven by everyday life in Paris, la vie quotidienne. They would simply sit in cafes, watching life go by and documenting all the beauty that their keen eyes could see. So as I explore, I try to look at it through an artist’s eye. What small, uncovered thing would they have found beautiful? Can I discover something new? What about Paris will inspire me?
I just want to let Paris stir me.