Winter has arrived here in Los Angeles (if you can call it winter) and nostalgia sets in. The crisp, clean air that accompanies this time of year, my favorite season, makes me remember a period of my life that I will never forget; The time I lived in Paris.
Paris, with its unbelievable charm and beauty, immediately sucked me in and, instead of staying three weeks as I had originally planned, I ended up staying for 6 months. I accompanied some big fashion photographers, working alongside them and expanding my photographic prowess. I even worked in music for a short stint, writing lyrics and singing for a Paris based music group. I made some dear friends that I know I will have for life and who accompanied me on my journey.
The city was beautiful as well as challenging, which are always welcome aspects for me. Paris, to me, is a city that is raw, beautiful and pushes you to become stronger. I not only learned a lot about myself but also thank Paris for expanding my photographic horizons. The city is undoubtedly one of the most aesthetically romantic cities in the world. Whether you intend to live in Paris, vacation there, work there or you are just stopping through, Paris is always a good idea. It is truly a city that captures your heart.
One of the first places I stayed was with a friend in République. I would use the metro at Rue Oberkampf to head there everyday for about a week. I later lived in Mènilmontant where I subleased an apartment for a couple of months. Both of these locations that I lived in were close to where the recent attack on Paris was (near the Bataclan Theater). It was very surreal when I heard the news as Paris was such a momentous part of my life. Especially having lived so close to where one of the attacks occurred. I remembered sitting outside the cafés almost everyday. I was relieved when I heard that all of my friends were safe but I felt a terrible sadness for all of those that had fallen victim to such a hateful crime.
With Beirut and Baghdad having been hit by ISIS as well, now more than ever we need to unite together and hope that humanity prevails.
I am planning to return to Paris to show my support in a few weeks time. My hope is that spring will be a new beginning not only for Paris, but for the world and humanity as a whole.