I spent my final evening in Paris at Hôtel de Crillon. It is a gorgeous place situated at Place de la Concorde. I was celebrating the most rewarding year of my life. I had lived in the most glamorous city in the world; met some profoundly inspiring individuals that I’m now honored to call friends; seen all this great beauty that genius created, time was kind to, and man has marveled at for centuries. It is humbling and awe-inspiring to stand before the countless masterpieces which hang inside museums, complement their façade, are performed on stage; which painters, sculptors, architects, writers, composers, dancers, all sorts of designers created to bring joy to those who have eyes for their splendour.
I lived in a Paris created by painters, writers and film-makers. Paris evokes a vision of the roaring 20’s, gorgeous 30’s, wartime 40’s, and sophisticated 50’s. The smoky cabarets, busy restaurants, tortured poets, passionate love affairs, top hats and fur coats bobbing out of noisy fiacres in rainy streets create a bohemian reality that its inhabitants still cling to. Who could imagine what it would be like to see Paris without having read about it, seen it represented, first? Gratitude envelops you each time you recall the overwhelming fact of being here and now to appreciate the past and dream about the future.
I’d walk up and down “les rues” and as I put each foot down I’d think, this is where Hemingway put his foot, this is where Dietrich put hers. I’d pass a bar that was once swinging under the rhythm of Cole Porter and Gershwin. I’d stroll along rue Saint-Honoré which suddenly seems more alive than ever on Pissarro’s canvases, I’d descend rue Lepic where little has changed since van Gogh lived at number 54.
Paris is the one place I’ve truly felt at home and I now have to leave it. London is my next stop, where my studies in Photography have taken me. It’s not a farewell, it’s just a temporary goodbye.