It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. By that sound logic, five pictures are worth five thousand words. Maybe even that is not enough words to do the city of Paris justice. In any case, here is an attempt to capture what may well be the soul of Paris in a few photos.
The Christmas markets
It’s December, and even if you haven’t noticed, Paris has. There’s no better way to understand the city in wintertime better than to stroll through the arrays of tents offering all kinds of wonders. Hot wine, sausages, cheeses, chocolates––essential holiday shopping!
Paris is Paris because of the coffeeshops. The wicker chairs, the pleasingly neglectful waiters, and the cigarette smoke wafting over from either side reminds you what Paris, city of cafés, is all about. Want to “do” Paris right? Spend at least a few hours chatting, sipping, and/or nibbling at a place like this.
Most big cities have a river, and that river colors the personality of the city. How a metropolis integrates and interacts with its water is important for its character even beyond the quay. The Seine is magnificent, as is the way Paris is built around and over it. But again, let the image do the talking:
This world-famous museum gets plenty of coverage basically everywhere–and for good reason. Its contents aside, just soaking in the exterior is a profoundly Parisian experience. Here is the quintessence of Parisian culture, accompanied by a shocking juxtaposition of new and old.
Of course it’s hard to talk about the spirit of a city without considering it in its wholeness. Arguably, the beauty of Paris lies somewhere in its entirety. The best a photograph can do then, is expose the skyline of the city of lights, alight.