A few weekends ago, we were wandering some new streets of Paris near Passy, which by the way is extremely charming. As we approached the river, which looked beautiful with a completely uninterrupted view of the Eiffel Tower, we were stunned to see Lady Liberty’s little sister looking down upon the river; with her back to us. We were pressed for time that day but vowed to go back to pay her a visit.
This past weekend, we made our way down to the metro stop Javel – Andre Citroen on line 10 and crossed the street to head riverside for a better view of the magnificent statue of liberty. Although much much smaller, she stands proud and tall turning an otherwise normal view into a camera-worthy site. The whole area feels like NYC…high rises (unexpected in Paris), huge avenues, tree lined riverside walkways and of-course, her beautifully imposing facade. This is all juxtaposed against the background of the Seine and the dominating presence of the Eiffel tower from the other side of the river bank. The contrast is so beautiful and delightfully surprising. Two beautiful cities rolled into one with no more than 2 streets separating them.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and all the devastation caused in New York City, I wanted to offer an homage to the city that took me in for four years and showed me some of the best years of my life. It saddens me to see the photos of destruction and to see the typically busy streets of this beautiful, energetic city so empty. I know that life is slowly starting to return to the city and I have no doubt it will do so in full force. I hope that everyone out there is safe and that power has returned to your homes so you can enjoy the basics we may often take for granted…warmth, a home-cooked meal and peace of mind. New York City has a strength and resilience I admire and I know it will bounce back from this crisis like the superhero that it is.
Thank-you Lady Liberty for making me feel a little more at home in my new city and for reminding me that while I may be but a refugee on the shores of Paris, opportunities everywhere are boundless and it is a privilege to explore the unknown world in all its vastness for our hearts may belong to a specific geography but life ultimately takes you where your dollar (or Euro!) lies.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.