Paris We Love You
Immediately following the terrorist attacks of November 13th, some would-be visitors of Paris cancelled their trips, mostly in fear of perceived violence. Residents on the other hand had a very different reaction, mostly exhibiting fearlessness and determination not to let a handful of radicals destroy our city and our way of life. “Je suis en terrasse!”
Today I received an email from such an individual who has plans to come to Paris this coming year:
“So I’ve been corresponding with your office about an extended stay in Paris next fall, up to two months. The day of the massacre I had been prepared to make a decision about my choice of apartments. Needless to say I suspended any activity on this front. So, I’d appreciate getting a sense of the mood of the city. I’m not necessarily concerned about safety; I’m more concerned that the Paris I previously visited and loved will not have the same qualities of livability and joie de vivre that drew me to it in the first place. Any comments you can make, even if it’s just in one of your “belles-lettres” would be appreciated. Merci et Joyeux Noel, G.”
Paris is Paris and will always be Paris except that it’s now even more Paris! The sentiment in the city is strong and positive and you will not feel one iota of difference except for added security measures everywhere. Do not hesitate to visit for one second and you will see for yourself the wonderful camaraderie that has resulted from the attacks…and you will be moved by the memorials as well as the strength of the people who are “en terrasse” even more now than ever!” Adrian
The Local is running articles under the theme “Paris attacks aftermath…” citing the city’s new media campaign to combat the loss of tourism in the hopes of “putting the gloss back on the City of Light’s global image,” with “#ParisWeLoveYou.” This is not only a promotional campaign, but is part of the solidarity the residents wish to express.
Lisa Anselmo contributed to their roster of articles with “Paris one month on: Let’s hope fraternity is lasting impact” and concludes, “There is a sense of communion among Parisians that only a shared tragedy can bring, something positive in the wake of pain. This unity and brotherhood is one effect of the attacks worth hanging on to as Paris moves forward.”
Paris is not a city at war. Life is back to normal and this campaign is designed to show that. You will see posters all over the city in the coming weeks in cafes, restaurants and cinemas. For now, you can visit the site (parisweloveyou.fr/) and add your photo to the mosaic of fans. You could have your photo on an art installation put on display in January.
We, the residents of the city of Paris, urge all of you, the devoted visitors of the city of Paris, to unite with us and show the world that Paris, We Love You. Show how NOTHING is going to deter us from battling the hatred with our devotion and love. Make your plans now to visit the city this coming year. Take your drinks and meals “en terrasse.” Post your photos of your smiling faces on our bridges, in front of our monuments and in our streets. Show the world that your devotion will not be daunted.
What better way to fight terrorism than with the one emotion they don’t understand: love?
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group
P.S. It’s not too early to begin planning your trip to Nice for Carnival. Mark your calendars now for February 12-28, 2016. Enjoy Carnival even more by staying in my own apartment Le Matisse. Hotels and apartments book several months in advance, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Make your reservation today