I'm not the first to be captivated by Paris' charm. Some are taken when walking through the winding streets, lost in a sea of cafes and shops. Some are taken when they first see the brilliant dance of lights, the Eiffel Tower glowing before them. Some are taken as they sip wine by the Seine, forgetting they ever had a care in the world.
While parts of me were taken by these small Parisian charms, it was something a little different that ended up holding me hostage. There's a creative energy to Paris that is unlike any other. It floods the city, reaching from the streets, with a brilliant juxtaposition of spray painted masterpieces and elegant Parisian churches, to inside the walls of jazz clubs, where musicians and onlookers alike lose themselves in the notes circling the room. And as much as I love the other aspects that make Paris so endearing, it is this energy that fuels my complete captivation.
If you're going to do Paris right, it's pretty essential that you have a super trendy and artsy belle of a tour guide to show you around. Enter Mélina.
There couldn’t be a person more qualified to show me the creative energy alive in Paris than my lovely French friend. Paris doesn’t have to be a laundry list of sightseeing. There is so much more this city can offer.
As Mélina led me up the winding staircase at 59 Rivoli, walls and steps alike were covered in drawings, writings, and paintings. We went room to room in the six floor art studio, watching the artists and visitors interact with one another.
Half finished projects awaited completion while the artists paused to speak to those admiring the works around the studio. The whole space exuded a spirit of innovation and passion with the community of creators sharing in each others’ motivation and energy.
It's in places like these that I feel my own passions begin to stir. After seeing how alive artistic expression was in Paris, I couldn't help but feel refreshed and inspired to delve into my own creative energy with a renewed commitment.
So yes, it's true that I missed swinging by the Notre Dame this go around and I didn't even make it to the top of the Eiffel Tower. But Paris is more than the sites that can be plastered on a post card. It's a city that threatens to steal you away from your expectations to instead be consumed by the intoxicating energy of creativity and passion.