Les Coins, a guest post by Brandon Smith

Photo Credit:  Brandon A. Smith

Les Coins

I’ve been to Paris a number of times.  There are so many destinations that I could choose from, that I’d love to climb aboard a plane and be whisked to, yet each time I find myself ready for some time to bask, a vacation of sorts, my heart is tugged in the direction of that ever changing City of Lights.  “Certainly”, others begin, “you’d be better off expanding your horizons”.  I’d be better off, in the words of my friends, trying new places, experiencing yet another culture, playing resident in a new city. Yet even with that sage advice, I open my passport and collect another stamp from an ever-familiar country.

You see, for me, Paris has never been a stagnate city. A city that after spending time under its moon and in the arms of its streets, you feel you’ve seen it all.  A locale that continues along the same never changing path of modernization and politicalization. Is that a word? In some cities it must be.  For me, Paris is an onion begging to be peeled.  Every corner, a city anew.   To walk an arrondissement is to dive head first into the deep end of an ever growing puzzle.

I don’t carry a map with me when I’m in Paris.  Maps are too stifling. Too directive. Too distracting.  Certainly it is against second nature to leave the plat of the city behind in one’s hotel but to do so ensures a simple stroll will unfold to become an adventure.  I’ve seen the Louvre.  I’ve been to the Eiffel Tower. Montmartre is a promise of a beautiful view. But to experience these monuments to Parisian culture is to peel away only the first of its layers.

To leave the map behind. To promenade the rues de la ville.  To turn corners at will with no final objective.  That is to experience the city that is Paris. I’ve found odd shops where a single word of English is not uttered.  Stumbled upon a bistro with a delicious, authentic steak frites.  Discovered the oldest magasin de chocolat.  Decadent discoveries are bound to be made by simply turning the corner.  Experiencing les coins. Paris makes no promises but never fails to excite. Though a warning, once found, there is the possibility of never finding these places again.

But that, however, is what makes Paris so intriguing. The excitement that is the corner.

Brandon Smith is the founder/principal/therapist of d.coop, a boutique spatial design and development firm in  San Diego, California.  You can read more from him on his blog, d.coop and Tweet with him @dcoopsd.

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One Response to “Les Coins, a guest post by Brandon Smith”

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