The year is 2017 and its been 10 years since I’ve been to Paris. In 2007 I told myself I would never come back to this city. However as life evolved and unfolded I began dating a French Canadian. It’s been 8 years since we began dating. If there’s anything you should know about French Canadians is France is home in their mind. They feel French even though they’re from North America. The French provinces of Canada have lots of great French traditions. They speak the language and in some cases don’t speak English.
As luck would have it, my partner LOVES Paris. He fly’s to Paris about once a year. Needless to say I was reluctant to go back to a city that made me feel like trash for being a person of color. But I wanted to make him happy and most importantly I thought the experience would be different with someone who spoke the language fluently.
At the turn of the year, for New Years we decided to go back and celebrate the beginning of a new year, 2017.
This was the beginning of my new-found respect and love for the city I used to call The City of Hate.
Graffiti Hunting and Urban Art in Paris
As a lover of all things art, I love graffiti art. It just so happens that a famous graffiti artist known as Invader is Parisian. He is known for creating tile mosaics all over the world that resemble the infamous game Space Invaders. These little aliens are seen everywhere from Paris to LA.
Since I love graffiti so much, I looked out for piece of his art all over Paris. He is everywhere. It was nice to randomly see his art throughout the city. You can also see the evolution of his art as it goes from a Space Invader to a Mario Brothers mosaic.
This is my second trip to Paris this year with my partner and I’m glad to report that both times, I’ve had a great experience. I’m not sure why I had such a bad first impression. I don’t understand why I had so many bad moments in 2007. However I do know that things seemed different. Everyone seemed nicer and willing to talk to you, even if you don’t speak their language.
Today we did a Parisian Graffiti Tour through Viator. Malaika, our tour guide has a vast knowledge of urban art and their styles.
The tour lasted about 2 hours as we walked around the city, discovered new neighborhoods and pointed out works of art that have colored the city in beautiful ways. We even discovered new urban art, freshly painted.
We learned about the clash between urban artists that continue to use the wall of the urban jungle as their primary muse versus artists that have made it and use Paris as their mode of advertising.
It was all very fascinating. It also seemed that many, if not all these artists had a political agenda. Some try to break the gender binary stereotype while others want the world to know about women rights.
The graffiti art tour was amazing and so is the city. I gotta thank my partner for making me see this city in a new light.
I made a video of our New Years trip. I’ll leave it here in case you want to check it out.
Let me break it down for you:
- Graffiti Walking tour from Viator
- $66 per person
- 2 hours long
- About 2.5 miles of walking
- Lots of great info and art
Check out this tour here: Paris street art walking tour