In Praise of Paris
Thu 22 Nov 2012
Allison Corbat and Franny Belau in Paris.
Recently I was lucky enough to find myself in a position most 18- or 19-year-old girls dream of. My best friend and I spent two weeks of summer in Paris, writing articles for this fabulous website. Before I go any further, I must tell all girls out there, no matter what age, that you must visit youthful Paris before you die. If my dramatic declaration isn’t enough to persuade you, then hopefully by the end of this article you’ll understand the urgency of my previous statement.
With Paris being the city of love, light, fashion, food and pretty much anything else fabulous, it might as well be the city of women, too. From the femininity of the language to the abundance of impeccably dressed French guys, despite the rogue plunging v-neck or two, what else could be more perfect? Upon arriving and settling into our apartment in the 10th Arrondissement, the freedom felt exhilarating, giving me a sense of possibility that was unlike what I had experienced in any other city I’ve visited. It’s impossible to describe; I, like many before me, can describe it only and simply as that je ne sais quoi.
Having lived in New York City most of my life, I’ve been surrounded by concrete giants towering over me, often hiding the sky and the rest of the city. But walking through the streets of Paris, with the sky above, you feel an openness. And as you wind through the maze of light buildings to the left and right that show the Parisians’ attention to beauty and detail, it seems as though each building has been handpicked to stand in its exact location. The age of the city and its history is unfathomable to a girl accustomed to scaffolding and modern monuments. Being a teenager, it’s often not hard to get caught up in the superficiality of the latest trends in the magazines and the newest, coolest this or that, but Paris brings you back to what is actually beautiful and what should be appreciated. I’m convinced that the stunning city can’t help but encourage the laid-back French lifestyle.
At 19, I already hope to be one of those chic Parisian mothers enjoying her day outside at a café with an espresso, and not a crazed mother playing chauffeur between soccer games and piano recitals. This culture dedicated to aesthetics has created a lifestyle based around what is beautiful, leaving it up to the beholder to appreciate it. Paris may be a city that’s hundreds of years old, but the Parisian appreciation of art means that a building as forward-looking and modern as the Pompidou can sit comfortably among traditional French architecture.
Being this young, I can’t believe how lucky I am to have been in what I believe is the most special city in the world. Phenomenal fashion, mouthwatering cuisines and more culture and beauty per square meter than imaginable—I can’t fathom a better place for any girl to fulfill any dream, as I’m sure she can find it here.
Editor’s note: Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans in the United States and throughout the world. May you be surrounded by turkey and all your friends and family. We at GG2P have a lot to be thankful for this year, mainly to you, our readers!