I had such high expectations when I went to Paris for the first time back in 2010. So many people told me how much they loved Paris and how much I was going to love it too.
When Armando and I arrived at CDG Airport we collected our backpacks from baggage claim and then hopped on the RER for our ride to our hotel at Champs-Élysées.
Paris is known as “The City of Lights” so I was excited that we would be riding the train at dusk, thinking that I would experience the beautiful Paris that I was expecting. What I got was something else. No lights. Dark and gloomy suburbs. And graffiti. Lots of graffiti. I love graffiti when there is some artistic skill behind it but then there is that ugly graffiti. The kind that one usually sees on the side of a dumpster.
With a combination of the intense amount of graffiti in the city and the depressing cloudy weather that loomed over our entire visit, I did not see the beauty I was expecting.
Jump to 2012. We had an opportunity to go to Paris again this year. Disappointed in Paris the first time round, I decided to embrace the graffiti of Paris and in travelling to Brussels and Rome as well on this trip, I learned that graffiti appears to be a European thing, not just a Paris thing.
I accepted the graffiti as part of the charm of these cities and in turn, saw the beauty in these cities that they deserve.
I am not sure about other cities but in Rome, I learned that their graffiti is always about one of three things: Sports, Politics or Love. This graffiti was in a small town called Marino that is just south of Rome. It reads something like, “The world needs a billion stars to be illuminated, but my heart just only you.” Awww…graffiti is not so bad after all 🙂
- Bonom takes art to the skies: can graffiti be legal? (vingtparismagazine.com)
- Graffiti artist banned from all Olympic sites (independent.co.uk)
- Trying to Find My Photography Eye in Europe (westcoastprairiegirl.com)
- Camera Tricks in Paris (westcoastprairiegirl.com)