Tag Archives: architecture

Paris – A State of Mind

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You hear it so often in a New York State of Mind. I think I am constantly in a Paris State of Mind. I have had a few projects in the US including LA and Chicago that have taken me away from my true love of Paris. My biggest project is Paris based and I am pretty darn excited about it. So for now if you don’t mind I will be in a Paris State of Mind until further notice. I hope you will join me!

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Solo Travel in Europe

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A while back a friend proposed the idea of me traveling alone. I thought the idea was crazy and dismissed it. I was in my young twenties and was honestly too scared. 2007 rolled around and I decided to take a trip back to Italy. My first since studying abroad. I brought two of my best friends along to show them some of my favorite parts of Italy. This is when I first started waking up early to photograph. I thought this would be a good way to explore the city solo and get out of my comfort zone. To my surprise my two friends willingly woke up early to join me. I was happy to have them along but still wanted the experience of being alone in a city. They could sense that I wanted to stay in Italy since I had been talking about how much I loved my time abroad. At one point they both encouraged me to just stay and not come come. That would be crazy I thought… or would it be?

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Either way the seed had been planted knowing that I had the support of two of my best friends. I lost my job shortly after in 2008 and really wanted to follow my passion for being a travel photographer. Sometimes its other things that push you outside of your comfort zone. I have always been grateful for that little push. What did I have to loose? It took me a while to figure out my footing how I was going to make it happen and in the end of 2009 I decided I was going to go to Paris. Yes my family thought I was crazy but once I get an idea in my head its hard to let go of it. So I started planning. This was just a short trip 10 days total but my first solo trip abroad. I went using unemployment money and airline miles from my previous job. I did a lot of research on an inexpensive hotel and booked a ticket.

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My high school French teacher taught us how to use the metro and it all came back to me. This was my first photo as my arrival to Paris back in 2010. I remember it vividly. I was so excited to explore and can’t remember being nervous at all. I photographed the city from morning to night for a total of 8 days. I learned to much about the city by walking and exploring. Everything was new and exciting. I remember walking around the eiffel tower and thinking ” I wonder what it would be like to live here and be inspired by this every day?” That of course planted a seed to my move to Paris in 2013. After the trip I came back to Chicago and started really working on my etsy shop posting photographs and selling them. I can’t say it was overnight it took a little while to figure things out but by the following year I was completely on my own financially as a travel photographer. That was a lot scarier than going to Paris solo.

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When I talk to friends and strangers about solo travel the first thing they mention is fear. It can definately be scary going outside your comfort zone. The next couple posts I will talk about Staying safe while traveling, eating alone, perks of traveling solo and more. I would love to know your thoughts have you traveled alone? Love it or hate it? If you haven’t what’s holding you back?

My short term solution…Paris.

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Thank you all for your kind words and support from my last post.So perhaps it wasn’t fair after my last blog post when I was writing it I already knew my answer. Or should I say my short term solution. I have been taking yoga for the last couple of years but most recently I have been going more on a regular basis. I have amazing teachers and the wonderful thing about it is that is not just about going to stretch there are great lessons to be learned. If you have ever tried it or if you are a yogi you know what I am talking about. One of my favorite things they repeat is stay present. Forget about the past and don’t think about the future. That is the endless list you need to tackle after the hour is over or perhaps where you should move next. The lesson is to stay present. Exactly where you are in that moment. Breathe and work through it.

If I stay in the present as I am taught my immediate future brings me back to Paris. April 20th to be exact. A week after my 33rd birthday. This means 6 full weeks to stay present and live in the moment. I have a short term action plan for after my 6 weeks is up. But I will fill you in on that at a later date.

I booked an apartment close to the pompidou which as I figured out is 10 minutes in one direction to my favorite street in the Marais vielle de temple and 10 minutes the other way to rue montorgueil. A lucky find as I have always wanted to stay in this arrondissement. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and having the possibility to meeting new friends. I have a few project ideas in mind and the creative juices are finally flowing after feeling blocked for such a long time. I can’t wait to experience Paris in the Spring and transition to Summer.

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Pops of Red in Paris

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Even on the grayest days in Paris you can find pops of color around the city. One of my favorites and most popular in Paris is the color red. Perhaps I am still in the Valentine’s Day mood but here you go!

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Winter in Paris

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I have spent every season in Paris. Between trips back and forth over the years I have covered them all. I have spent more time in Paris during some seasons and less in others, Winter being the longest season. I didn’t plan it that way it has just happened. The city changes so much from season to season. During the Winter its mostly locals and a few tourists. Its one of my favorite times to be in the city. You rarely have to fight crowds, you can usually find a spot on the terrace under the heater at a a cafe, and the city looks different without all the greenery. You can actually see the rooftops and the haussman buildings along the seine. As Springtime comes those trees fill with buds and bright green leaves pretty quickly. Here are a few of my favorite winter scenes in Paris.

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Reflecting and taking it all in

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As you might be able to tell from the last post I am doing a lot of thinking and reflecting. These last few weeks have been amazing and a lot of work. I haven’t begun to scratch the surface as far as editing and combing through new images and the holidays are just around the corner. I am truly grateful for each day that I am able to spend traveling. Not to mention the people I have been meeting have been wonderful. Here is a photo from around the corner from my Paris apartment and is one of my favorite parts of walking home.

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St Germain Strolling

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I woke up to rain in Paris. It surprises me how much rain can actually fall in one city… I walk everyday no matter what so I didn’t let it stop me. We luckily had a few hours of sunshine this afternoon where I strolled through Ile St Louis picked up some raspberry ice cream from Berthillon and made my way to St Germain.

I have talked about the season in Paris before but its really interesting to see the way the trees frame the architecture. In the Spring you will notice certain buildings because of the blossoms, in the winter the trees are bare and the architecture looks completely different. With the changing of the leaves my eye bounces from one building to the next as the greens and reds contrast the blues and grays of Paris.

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