Ariel Emrani

“Paris is always a good idea.”

There is no question – Paris is one of my favorite places in the world. The architecture, the food, the history, and the beautiful French people combined lead to an unforgettable journey. Parisians are a rare breed, and while I have heard that some tourists consider the French to be less friendly, I have never found this to be the case – they have the right to be immensely proud of their city and its unique culture. Respect the culture, and you’ll make friends.

Visit Paris when you can and do your best to learn a few words and phrases in French. Unlike some European cities, you cannot expect everyone to speak English, or even be willing to! 

We Owe Our Freedom to the French!

During the American Revolution, it is unlikely that the Continental Army would have survived without the help of the French, who supplied supplies, arms, and ammunition to the troops from 1778 to 1882. Benjamin Franklin was involved, starting with his first trip to Paris in 1776 and then meeting with a secret envoy, sowing the seeds of a relationship between the revolutionaries, even before formal treaties in 1778. 

Historians estimate that about 12,000 French soldiers served on the rebel forces, along with 22,000 naval personnel on 63 French warships. Without the aid of the French, it is unlikely that the revolution would have been successful, and the United States would have never existed. So, when you go to Paris, you are mingling with a culture that values freedoms – just like we do.

Let’s Talk French Food

French cuisine – fantastic. Every dish is built with fresh ingredients and focused on bringing out the flavors of the ingredients. Aspiring chefs travel from countries all over the globe to be trained in French cooking techniques. The first French cookbook was published in 1651, the start of an avalanche that continues today. Called the “Chef of Kings,” Auguste Escoffier is credited with bringing “haute cuisine” to the modern world, along with efficiency in restaurant kitchens. Nouvelle Cuisine (translation – “new kitchen”) appeared in the 1960s and 70s, a style of cooking that stressed freshness, lightness, and flavor, with a Japanese influence on presentation. Eating out in Paris will not just satisfy your hunger – it is an aesthetic experience! 

Stunning Architecture – the Old and the New

We have all seen countless images of the Eiffel Tower, but nothing compares to seeing its artful lines in person. It was created for the 1889 “Exposition Universelle,” a holiday commemorating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Fifty engineers and designers were involved. But the Eiffel Tower is just one of literally thousands of stunning architectural wonders you will encounter in Paris, any time you take a walk. Who would have thought an entire city could be designed collectively but with variety of shape and detail and yet all brought together by the consistent roof design? Not only is Paris the birthplace of Gothic architecture, it has important monuments throughout of Renaissance style as well as collaboration with Russia (the Pont Alexandre III). 

French Fashion – The Ultimate in Design

French fashion has ruled the world since the 15th century. The courts across Europe tried their best to keep up with the French court, and the tradition continues to this day, with Paris known as the global fashion capital of the world. Shopping in Paris is an unforgettable experience. Whether you choose to enter a small shop or enjoy the Champs-Elysees where you can find iconic brands like Chanel, Dior, Cartier, and Van Cleef Arpels. 

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