City of Lights (Paris)

24 May 2013

The beauty about Paris is that the city is constantly vibrating with people traveling from place to place. We ran into people from all parts of the world as we chatted in the metros, trams, sidewalks, and even the museum lines. It is a beautiful thing to meet people from around the world and realize that they really are not that different from you. Paris taught me that people are meant to be understood, not pushed away. Our differences make us closer than we ever thought possible.

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Ellie, myself, and Steven at the Top of the Eiffel Tower.

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A view of the Eiffel Tower through the darkness and extreme cold!

Paris is a city full of people from all around the world with different talents, hobbies, and backgrounds. Here they can mesh and work together to create some of the best innovations in the world. As in other large cities (London and New York for example), the unique cultural mix of people is one of the reason why creative disruptive innovations can occur. When people with different perspectives, backgrounds, and interests come together to solve a problem, the mixture of all their previous knowledge has the power to create something that has never before been created.

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In front of the beautiful gardens at the Palace of Versailles.

One of the reasons I love cities such as this, is for that potential of brilliant innovative ideas to surface. Our world must have individual thinkers, people who are willing to solve problems. When these powerful leaders merge together we get a group of people with all the knowledge necessary to truly innovate. Creativity in a person is the first step in successful innovation, but to reach their top potential people should seek to bring in others who can add to their knowledge on the subject. It is interesting to note that many ideas came about from individual thinkers, but hardly any were implemented into practical solutions without the presence of a group of willing contributors. Just as a balance between creativity and structure is needed in the workplace, a balance between individual and group discovery is equally as important to be efficient and effective. Paris is a perfect example of how people can be brought together to make innovations that truly make a change in society. I want to be a part of this change…hopefully even in Paris.

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Look, the Mona Lisa!

We have taken the metro lines so many times you think we would have them mastered, but each city is different and when you can barely pronounce the names of the stops it is hard to ask for directions. I do love the French language, it is so graceful and romantic. Another benefit of seeking an internship here would be the exposure to the French language. With my few years background in Spanish, I wonder how fast I could pick it up… Pei Ya says I can learn it easy in 6 months. I think I want to give it a try!

We woke up at 7:30, not quite as early as usual, and headed off to the Palace of Versailles just on the outskirts of Paris. It was raining as we left and really cold! The only, and I mean ONLY, thing that I have disliked about Paris has been the rainy cold weather. It has rained more in Paris than it did during my time in England. I layered all my clothing that I had on my body and even borrowed some of Pei Ya’s clothing and I was still quite frozen by the end of the night. It wouldn’t of been as cold if we would have gone out in shifts during the day to see the city, but the way we roll is all day everyday exploring with No breaks. 8:00am-11:00pm is our typical day’s schedule.

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(Above) Photos in front of the Palace of Versailles.

The Palace of Versailles was absolutely gorgeous. It was covered in gold and surrounded by marble statues. We did not pay the fee to go inside but instead headed straight for the Royal Gardens around the back of the palace, and once I saw how massive and exquisite they were all my regrets about not buying a ticket to enter the inside of the Palace vanquished. If the weather hadn’t been quite as cold I am sure we would of stayed the rest of the day lounging and exploring the vast maze of the gardens that went for miles and miles. The children’s story Alice in Wonderland contains a portion of it’s plot that takes place in a setting that was inspired by these grand gardens.

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(Above) Photos in front of the Paris Opera House.

Added to my bucket list is to attend a show in the Paris Opera House. I have never faced head to head such a magnificent building…It is absolutely beautiful and I can only imagine the shows it puts on are even more splendid. Couples were dressed up and walking through the rain to go into the Opera house. I am not sure if they were just dressed up because it is Paris (you find that a lot of people in Paris dress up for even the average day occurrences) or if they were preparing to watch an opera. Ahhhh either way I am so jealous that they have access to such a marvelous wardrobe to stroll around Paris in. I love the backpack life, but really??? I need my fairy Godmother to visit me and give me a beautiful dress for my last evening in Paris…Cinderella can wait another night, this girl needs the dress more at the moment.

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With the Mona Lisa.

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With the Code of Hammurabi.

Words cannot come close to explaining how HUGE the Louvre museum is. I would not be surprised if there is more history in this building than every other building in the world combined. It is incredible how many artifacts have been discovered and housed in the Louvre. Some of my favorites were located in the Egyptian exhibits, ancient tombs, mummies, and scripts written in Egyptian hieroglyphs. We were able to see Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, Venus de Milo, Code of Hammurabi, Colossal Statue of Ramesses II, and many other incredibly famous artifacts.

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The Winged Victory of Samothrace.

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The first TOMS…

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A very famous old Egyptian painting…

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Another very famous old Egyption painting…

If someone studying the origin of creativity had only one place in which they could study, hands down it would be the Louvre. From musical instruments, rugs, shoes, cooking supplies, written languages and painted pictures, clothing, transportation, etc… The louvre offers a piece of nearly every era and it is neat to be able to see how innovations within each of the above areas has changed over time. What started as a creative idea turned into a brilliant innovation. All of the “must see” exhibits on the Louvre map guide were absolutely astounding, and I found myself wishing that I had the rest of the week to stay in the Louvre and see anything and everything that filled its rooms.

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Us girls outside the Louvre after a wonderful evening in the greatest museum in the world.

You cannot spend a day in Paris without going to the Eiffel Tower. So since we stayed two days it only seemed fitting that we go visit the Tower twice. Actually we visited it three times, plus numerous others if you count the many times we say it in passing. On our last evening in Paris we joined the line of crazed tourists preparing to scale the tower to the top. I guess scale is a bad word to use because we actually did not climb any stairs, we simply boarded an elevator and zoomed to the top…kind of cheating but worth it because the ride to the top was beautiful and consisted of no huffing and puffing through the cold. As we rose to the second level and then on to the top, it was quite the sight to see the city shrink, yet grow beneath you. As the buildings get smaller, the city horizons get broader and you can see more and more of Paris with each inch rise in elevation. It was an incredible feeling to feel your perspective change on how small humans are in the world. Paris is a massive city and home to millions of people, and there are thousands of other cities just like that throughout the world…that is incredible.

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The Eiffel Tower was built for a city fair, and it was quite a brilliant design by Mr. Eiffel who I am sure had no idea how important has structure would become to the entire world. It is true that when many people thing of Europe, they think of the Eiffel Tower. That is a lot of pressure on one building to uphold to the hype and excitement of millions of tourists throughout the years.

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Paris do not forget me, I will be back soon.

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