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Beautiful Black Paris

Paris. Full glamour & romance, there is a lot more to this infamous destination then the clichés we are brought up to believe. Paris happens to be one of the most diverse cities in the world with thousands of immigrants from Asia, South America & Africa. I had always been taught to perceive Paris as an untouchable, conservative, white-only society. When I arrived, I was surprised to find a large population of African descent with an indelible sense of style and grace.

During my month long stay in Paris, I was surprised by a few thought-provoking cultural differences. Unlike America, France isn't allowed to collect information pertaining race, only information regarding an individual's birth country. As a result, there is no accurate count of African immigrants living in France. When I met other young blacks, they referred to themselves as French first, as there is no such term as Afro American or African French. When walking down the streets of Paris, I would always receive a warm smile, nod or conversation, something starkly different from where I came from. In Los Angeles, in the same scenario, eyes of African Americans I'd cross paths with would be diverted in other directions. These black Parisians never made me feel like I was alone.[gallery ids="652,663,665,653,664"]

Along with the difference in culture, I discovered some amazing things to do (other than visit the Eiffel Tower). Follow this list for an amazing way to view of the city of love!

1. Versailles. Here you will find an incredibly glamorous palace filled with art, parisian pool sized ponds and magical gardens. If you've seen the movie Marie Antoinette, you should definitely visit. For those who haven't seen the movie, watch it and then go visit (ha!). This palace is located right out of Paris and with just a hop on the metro you can get there in just under an hour.

My Response to Maneesh's "7 reasons you should move to Berlin today"

On CoreyB

I was in Berlin for an extended weekend recently, and the whole time I found myself agreeing again and again with what I had read about the city in Maneesh's (hackthesystem.com) post about it. It's a great post and introduction to Berlin, even if he oversells his reasons a bit. Below is his article, with some of my additional thoughts in italics.

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It had been a long time since I’d stayed in one city for so long, but I’d engineered it so I could spend my final quarter of Stanford abroad…and receive financial aid at the same time. I’d heard nothing but great things about Berlin, and when Stanford  offered me a paid summer internship, meaning I’d be living scot free in the city, I couldn’t say no.Within weeks of arriving, I understood why Berlin had received so much praise—the only other city I’ve ever seen as revered is Buenos Aires. Let me tell you now exactly why you should log on to kayak.com and buy a ticket to Berlin, Germany.

I was blown away when I saw the prices in Berlin. Living expenses are as cheap, or cheaper, than most cities in South America! (Buenos Aires included). I could afford dinners an the nightlife—Berlin is by FAR the cheapest capital city in Western Europe. Here are some examples of my costs (everything is converted into dollars at 1 € = $1.50)

[Side note: one time I only had 1EUR on me, and I entered a gas station to buy water. Water cost € 1.25. Beer cost € 0.60. Needless to say, my decision was made for me]

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