Graffiti in the Dixieme

Why This Is Awesome: Two years ago yesterday, I returned from my first — but hopefully not my last — trip to Paris. Not surprisingly, my Instagram reminded me of those days of hopping on an Icelandair plane and traveling to the City of Lights to celebrate my birthday.

So, of course, I’ve been reflecting on that trip and wondering about all the non-clichéd photos that we travelers and tourists snap, but don’t always share. Which made me consider this lotus moment above. When we think of Paris, we rarely think of the graffiti that adorns its streets. And yet, graffiti and graffiti art are virtually everywhere.

I captured this shot of Rue Legouvé on my way back from breakfast with fellow hostel-dweller, now Instagram-buddy Sumedha. A far more gifted photographer than I, Sumedha paused to take photos with her DSLR of this narrow road, but of the other side where another work of street art was on display.

I focused on this side of the street because of the beautiful contrast in the image between white and earthen brown, emptiness and presence, order and disorder. To me, that ever-present contrast captures the true feel of Paris. I’m not sure if it’s a city people travel to to embrace duality, but it’s certainly there for those who wish to welcome it.