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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.


On Wanderlust

Paris is my all time favorite city (not counting Ireland of course!). If I could I would travel back to France right now!

I was lucky enough to meet up with my good friend in Paris to show me all the cool places to go! My favorite spot that we went to was Montmartre. It’s a long hike up to the top, but walking through the streets and past the cute restaurants and shops make it worth it. There are hundreds of steps to walk up which make you pass through groups of people, drinking eating and enjoying music being played by a bystander! At the top are the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur and the Saint Pierre de Montmartre. I recommend coming up an hour before the sunset, sit on the church steps, bring cheese and wine and have fun!

Tourist spots that are definitely worth seeing are Notre dame, the Eiffel tower, and the Louvre museum. After I went to see the Notre Dame, we walked down by the river as far as we could and stumbled upon the lovelock bridge, which is a cool place to check it! We ended up checking out the Eiffel tower a few times because we kept walking past it. The Louvre museum is definitely a cool place to check out, especially if you want to see the Mona Lisa! (Way smaller than I imagined). A day trip also worth doing is visiting the Palace of Versailles. The rooms, garden, and lakes are breathe taking!

One restaurant that you HAVE to find is “Pain Vin Fromage.” My friend told me it was his favorite restaurant and that I needed to try the fondue. It was the best cheese I have ever had in the world! The bread that we had to dip in the cheese was also incredible. Another amazing restaurant that offer great tapas that are tiny appetizers and fantastic wine is called “Avant Comptoir.” I tried so many interesting things but I loved every single one!

Obviously desserts that everyone must try in Paris are the éclair, macaroons and crepes. You can find these anywhere you turn in Paris, but try and look for a nice authentic café rather than a street cart! Try all the baguettes you can because you don’t find bread like that in America!

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