Looking Up to Paris
When my parents came to New York City for my graduation from FIT, I warned them, “Don’t look up. You’ll look like a tourist!” But they couldn’t help themselves; looking up was fun and fascinating. For Christ’s sake, it was New York City! They hadn’t seen such tall buildings in their lives, having come from a city that exists below sea level, New Orleans, where to build even a few stories takes special foundation piling to keep the swampy land from sinking.
Paris doesn’t have this problem. The land is solid — mostly made of stone, except for those areas on which the stone was quarried, such as Montmartre. Nonetheless, there aren’t many buildings (thank goodness) to tower over the Tower (Eiffel, that is), except a few we ‘loathe’ (like Tour Montparnasse). That doesn’t stop some of us from looking up, especially one such visitor I recently came to know.
Diane Benson, a marketing professional from Michigan, who was a month-long guest at “Le Provençal” until today, decided to toss aside her usual daily journal writings in order to see Paris through the lens of her Sony Cyber-shot and LOOK UP — taking a new view on Paris one might normally experience.
I confess to looking up often, myself, changing sides of the street on which to walk so that I can look up at the buildings on the other side. This way there is something different to see with each passing. “A Vendre” (“For Sale”) signs on apartment windows are more often “Vendu” (“Sold”) signs than not and in Le Marais, one can see ancient wooden beams on the ceilings of many 17th and 18th-century apartments. At the tops of “Haussmannian” buildings, those built during the “Haussmannism” of Paris in the late 1800’s (learn more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/), Diane looked up and admired the “chambres de bonnes” (servants’ quarters), those dormer windows at the very tops, which have fabulous views of the city. She also looked up at monuments, statuary and anything that was taller than she, with a new eye.
This presented another way of experiencing the city — one perhaps most of us don’t even consider, since let’s face it, it’s NOT New York City awash with skyscrapers to strain your necks. But, even knowing it as well as one might believe, this teaches that there is something new and exciting to discover in Paris every day, every hour, every minute…every moment.
Today’s photos represent a small part of what Diane saw, from this new and different perspective. Thank you, Diane.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
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P.S. “Le Petit Trésor” is at the top, with beautiful views of Le Marais. There are still a few shares remaining of this beautiful apartment sold in fractions of 12 by Paris Home Shares, but beware…the price increases by 3,400 euros on the day of closing sometime next month! So, if you’re interested in having your “piece of Paris” you can look up to, visit /frenchproperty/fractional for more information or contact Steve Navaro immediately at [email protected]
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