Paris

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1. “The culture in France is, like, you will see women going to the office with a bright red lipstick, like I have, but with no other makeup on whatsoever. With bags under their eyes, not even a hint of mascara. Like, bare face, bright red lipstick, and off they go.” – Laura Mercier

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2. I’ve been told not to have high hopes for Paris; that it’s not as chic, romantic, and beautiful as I expect it to be. But that was exactly what I loved about it. I think I’m realizing more and more how much I love big cities filled with dirt, graffiti’d walls, and a sketch as hell metro system, and Paris was all that, plus a little bit of Chanel No. 5 and bright red lipstick.

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3. Did you know that in most places in the world, the bee population is dying, but Paris was named the urban bee capital, because there are so many flowers in the city?

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4. There is a place where all roads lead, and no matter where you look, the city looks like it is moving and breathing all around you. Paris is called the “City of Lights,” and in an age of skyscrapers, there are other places brighter than this, but when you stand on the Arc Du Triomphe with the roads full of life and the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the distance, you can’t help but believe that this is still true.

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5. I usually have a limit on how many “touristy” things I can do. I can only take so much of line-ups, people bumping into me, and having to take an extra 5 shots on my camera before getting a photo without an iPad in it. But if there is something touristy worth doing in Paris, it’s going to Versailles. The gardens are endless, and the palace is so intricately beautiful. Sometimes, you just have to suck it up and tell yourself that you’re not better than what a place is famous for.

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6. One of my life dreams has been to go to Shakespeare and Company, and I can’t believe it actually came true! This place has housed tens of thousands of writers and was opened in tribute to the original Shakespeare and Company that was a gathering place for tons of famous writers (like Ernest Hemingway!!) but was closed down during the German occupation. I loved everything about this bookstore – the warm lights, the way the stairs creaked, and every cozy reading nook. It was so perfect, and I bought a book of Shakespeare love sonnets (am I too cheesy?!) and a copy of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, because the store is right by the cathedral!

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7. The whole city feels like it’s in love. I have never seen more sneaked kisses and love locks in my life, and it’s not the kind of thing that makes you feel lonely or bitter or that the world is silly for being romantic, but it fills your heart with a river full of keys that will find their home one day.

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8. Gargoyles are made to look like monsters to ward off the evil spirits from churches. But legend also has it that the cherubs and other statues got tired of looking pretty, and decided to make ugly faces instead. I like the second reasoning better.

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