This summer I had the opportunity to visit Paris, and stay there for a month. Every day brought new learning experiences and discoveries. The smells, sounds and flavors of a living city, the people, the Metro and the sights, and sure, the pain au chocolat

It was an adventure like no other, and for the artist’s soul in me, the chance to be part of the living master piece that is La Ville Lumiere… leaving my footsteps in the Passages Couverts, peeking inside the shops, too early to be opened on a Saturday morning. Becoming just another Flaneur, walking to the doors of Notre Dame, or stepping all the way up to Sacre Coeur, down Saint Michel to Luxembourg, and through the streets of Saint Germain-Des-Pres to the Seine, and all the way to the tour of my dreams.

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My feet tired bientot, but refused to stop, rest would come later, after La Place de la Concorde, after the magnificence of L’Arc de Triomphe, the price at the end of Les Champs Elysees, oh! glorious avenue, of perfectly cut trees, and its flags waving for the 14th Juillet.

Crossing Le Pont Alexandre III, thinking about the majesty of old, hypnotized by the gilded dome atop Les Invilides, glistening, commanding, proud, like the lingering spirit of Napoleon himself, lying underneath, le Chef.  Surrounded by the city landscape that Haussman made real. That wonderful architecture, that wonderful light, open spaces, highlighting the iconic buildings, the movement of people, the Parisian way of life.

I was there, for a little while, being Parisienne among them. It was delightful, cigarettes and all, angry bikers and all, crowded Metro and all. Paris showed me her bare face, her effortless joy de vivre, unconventional savoir-faire, and the magic was not broken, but enhanced. Now I go back to be Parisienne from afar, from within. Now I get to hold on to the dream that was real. And now I get to dream to go back, again.

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*More pics from my Paris Summer on Instagram @GabrielaGotay

 

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