Experiencing Paris changed me. Just being in there resonates on many levels, alters your perspective and leaves its mark forever. I will always have that place inside of me to which I return when I am reminded by something I associate with those memories.
If Paris is, as Hemingway said, a moveable feast, it’s not one that can be consumed at a single seating. You could never be “done” with Paris. You can explore as deeply as you want, and there will always be more at the end of your line of inquiry. And always, above all, there is just the feeling of being in Paris.
Paris is infinite layers of time and space and intersecting dramas. One humbly takes a serving of it, whatever one can, and is grateful for it. It’s a great privilege just to be there and experience it for oneself. To actually see the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the great Seine, is like thunder in the soul. But although those iconic features put a recognizable stamp on your experience, they are only the outward manifestations of the deep and rich character of the ancient city itself. That unique, finely blended and marinated essence casts its mark on everything within it. The tiniest fragment of Paris embodies that character in microcosm. The soul of the city leaves its distinctive mark on every part.
People come from around the world because they are drawn to that spirit. Many stay and become a part of it. In Hemingway’s case, Paris became a part of him that he carried with him for the rest of his life.
For Vincent van Gogh, it was the light of France that he craved, that he wanted to see, to paint. He had seen it in Holland and England through the paintings of the French Impressionists. He had to go there to experience it himself.
For Miles Davis, Paris was a place where he could experience nearly royal treatment in respect to his music – while back home in America he was still prohibited from entering many hotels and restaurants because he was African American. Paris is millions upon millions of stories. Every visitor experiences his own Paris.
Independent of any iconic site, the experience of being in Paris is in the air. It’s an exhilarating experience. It’s in the atmosphere, the cultural environment you breathe in through all your senses when you are there. Paris is an infinite storehouse of treasures. The consciousness of being in Paris vibrates in the air electrically. Mais Oui!
Hotel as Art Piece
The fine hotels of Paris…
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