AUP Student Voices: Ode to Paris

December 7, 2015

As the semester draws to a close, AUP students continue to reach out to the community and to each other to share their experiences in the wake of the events that recently shook the city. A student named Hannah Victoria wrote a story for her french class about where she was when the attacks hit. Read her work here (in French). 

The students of the online news class who run the Peacock Plume website have listed their favourite places and memories about Paris, to remind each other why we love this city. Check out the full article here, and read on for an excerpt.

Ode to Paris: Le Marais by Francesca Cretella

Rue Veille du Temple

The narrow, winding streets resemble a nouvelle vague film, the sidewalks linger with the scent of fresh croissants and tiny Vespa’s flee past.  Could this be anymore stereotypical? It’s as though a postcard of Paris came to life and was playing right in front of me. The thing is… The city is no Disneyland or Las Vegas; the city is real and it's history and culture are there to prove it. Coming from the modern and fast paced New York, all these details are tangible. Historical buildings aren’t torn down to become symbols of capitalism, the cobblestones aren't ripped off the ground to make it easier for hustling people going to work and cafes don't want you to leave before you've even finished. This is just in the DNA of the city. Paris has nothing to prove, it is just effortlessly stunning. It has a character that not even my favorite city and hometown, NY, could give me.

We walk down Rue Vieille de Temple and window shop, looking at the doll-like boutiques with dreamy eyes, like we just wanted to immerse ourselves in this life.  “Mom, why is everyone so pretty?” I ask. She smiles and shrugs. The elegant yet charismatic style of the city and the people and the cafes and the shops overwhelm and inspire me. We sit at Les Philosophes for a confit de canard and a rosé, facing the street so we can observe all the people.  I notice their clothes, attitude and effortless cool. We sit there forever, just enjoying every moment. As I looked around at the delicate architecture, creative people and small marble tables filled with wine and food, I realized this is where I see myself. 

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast