Learning to appreciate a city beyond it’s tourist attractions is a liberating thing. While in college, I remember reading a New Yorker article and this one line really stuck. It had to do with everyone flocking to nothingness and finding each other – which seemed like the funniest and saddest visual- particularly in relation to tourist itineraries.
When you travel, I think there’s real value in exploration. While the Louvre or the Eiffel tower is certainly rewarding, I don’t believe there’s anymore happiness to be found in checking that off the list, than finding the Django jazz bar woven between the Sunday flea market in Paris. It’s all part of the experience of discovering a new city.
When I explore, I generally keep the attractions in mind, but put greater emphasis on the surrounding neighborhood. I like to devote half days to weaving up and down new streets, looking for cafes, concert stickers, door patterns, gardens and random construction projects.
Here’s some graffiti I’ve been sitting on for a while- it’s from Paris, primarily the Marais. It’s animal and super-hero-centric. Enjoy!