Paris. The city of Love. The city of Lights. The city of Flowers (this is a Japanese saying). Not many cities in the world have so many nicknames. It really goes to show how much Paris is adored. I believe it’s one of the few cities in the world that almost everyone wants to visit, at least once in their life.
The data backs this up. France is the number one country for tourism in the entire world. The United States is second, but when you consider that the US has New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, etc. as opposed to France which has Paris…(and maybe the Nice--Marseille southern coastline?), it really is an incredible case. It proves that Paris is the premiere destination for tourists, all around the world. Everybody wants to visit Paris.
This I don’t have any data for, but I believe the reason for this is that, everybody, at one point in their life, becomes heavily affected by some sort of French culture. For example, from the “Madeline” read to me by my mother as a child, to the Manga that I still read today, many of the books I’ve encountered have plots based in Paris. The medium just depends on the person. Whether it's Daft Punk’s electronica, Coco Chanel’s fashion, Joel Robuchon’s cuisine, Le Corbusier’s architecture--whatever you’re interested in, there’s something in French culture that has influenced you.
For me, if I had to choose one, it would be the 18th century salons. The fact that educated women of the bourgeoisie would hold these salons where bright, audacious, forward thinking philosophers could get together and debate; that Montesquieu and Voltaire and Rousseau were all in the same room discussing how to create a better society-- I don’t know, it just fascinates me (yeah, I’m a nerd). Then there’s the fact that all their ideas became the spark plug which eventually led to the French revolution. Wow. In the words of Steve Jobs, boy did they make their dent in their universe.
And that’s how I imagine myself and my stay in Paris—a warm sunny après-midi, sitting at an open terrace café, sipping on some chocolat-chaud, thinking of how I can change the world a la Napoleon (maybe not the best example haha). But yes, as you can tell, I’m in the same boat as everyone else. Paris, Je t’aime!!