The best of Paris is hidden in the wide open. Her beauty is in her history; the architecture, the windows, the doors and the colors that represent the differing sides of conflicts that shaped the city, as it is known today. The city of Paris is like a Parisian woman; she is aging gracefully with little need for cosmetic intervention. Paris has good bone structure (architecture) and a few accessories that enhance her beauty more (ornamental lanterns, colorful doors, classic gates), yet how many times do tourists miss these in a rushed commute to main attractions?
Original cobblestone back alley streets and entries to courtyards with private gardens on the sides of brownstone buildings are often located behind seemingly ordinary facades. Centuries old wood beams ceilings and ancient brass and metal lanterns are taken for granted by locals who walk past them daily. Visitors traversing along the route to the iconic attractions who take the time to absorb their surroundings will be in awe at the how many of these treasures lie in their path.
Often, I have been in search of a particular destination with my eyes laser beam on the street signs, yet by accident notice an unusual gargoyle, or a gorgeous balcony flower garden up high near the street signs. I try to remember to snap a quick pic before moving on so I can remember where to revisit it at the end of the day.
Remember, the destination may be the short-term goal, but the long-term goal is to discover the essence of Paris. Pay attention and you just may be lucky enough to find it “hidden” out in the open streets of the City of Light.
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