Arc de Triomphe

November 8, 2016

Last week, I finally climbed the spiral staircase of the Arc de Triomphe. I had heard it was perhaps the most breathtaking view of Paris ,and I was not disappointed. It was a cloudy sunset, but my friend and I stayed up there until the lights of the Eiffel turned on to watch it twinkle on the hour. Seeing the city from a new perspective made me reflect on why I love life here so much.

Guys, I really don’t know how I’m going to leave Paris in under two months (!!). It’s beautiful: so full of life, history, and diversity. I was looking through a photo book of Paris at the turn of the 20th century this weekend, and it hit me that WHOAH I live here. I’d seen some of these photos before, but it was amazing to recognize the streets or the monuments I walk past in my daily life. Since I was little, I always wanted to live here and now I’m doing it. It’s a privilege to be a part of life in Paris, even just for a semester.

Roland Barthes, a French philosopher/linguist/general academic, wrote a lot about his experience as a city dweller in Paris. I feel like his words sum up what I’m trying to express: “The city is a discourse, and this discourse is actually a language: the city speaks to its inhabitants, we speak to our city, the city where we are, simply by inhabiting it, by traversing it, by looking at it.”

lf-6906lf-6912lf-6925lf-6928lf-6930lf-6937lf-6941lf-6948

And another from Roland Barthes: “All this night, too, it will be there, connecting me above Paris to each of my friends that I know are seeing it: with it we all comprise a shifting figure of which it is the steady center: the Tower is friendly.” lf-6973

Categories

Archives