It’s been a few days since I’ve had the chance to post, but for good reasons. I am back in my hometown of Paris for a few weeks. I needed to hit my old stomping ground and escape the LA grind. Not that Paris doesn’t get crazy. When it comes to chaos, Paris is as chaotic as any other major urban hubs i.e. LA, New York, London, but Parisians have a way to keep stress at bay.
When it comes to setting boundaries, Paris lives up to the hype! Comes hell or high water, Parisians know how to make the separation between work and personal life, this means setting-up clear boundaries. I have lost that habit in Los Angeles but seeing how Parisians hold this concept sacred reminds me of how I need to follow that rule to keep my sanity. One thing that is distinctively different is how Parisians have perfected the art of not giving a shit. If you want to see what looking unpressed look like, just go to any bistros at any time of the day. Parisians know how to take the time to enjoy life.
The bistro culture is a very very prevalent part of French society. More so now following, the November 2015 terrorist attacks which sought to destroy our way of life, shatter our sense of safety, but one thing about Parisians is that we are resilient as fuck and if anything those attacks have re-energize the culture of bistros in Paris. Being back in my hometown of Paris in the same month of the attacks is emotional to me, but it’s clear that bistros are more than a place where French gather in order to forget the soucis of life, bistros are hella political establishments.
Every intellectual Luminaries from Simone De Beauvoir to James Baldwin, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Jean Paul Sartres have congregated at bistros to ponder over deep philosophical issues. Culturally, the bistro (or bistrot) embodies an untangible esprit de Vivre that unites cultures together, not to mention, reminds us of how important our way of life deserves to be preserved and that neither work, stress, or even terrorism can ever come between us and our joie de vivre.
Photography credits: Kenza Johnson