I have a lot of posts to publish and I'm meant to be publishing three other posts before this one, but in light of the atrocities that happened on Friday night, I feel it's important to post this first. I took these photos the previous Sunday. I woke up early and joined my friend Rachelle up the Arc de Triomphe. I haven't been in years and she is sadly leaving Paris in a couple of weeks, so we both wanted to enjoy the views before the trees lost all of their beautiful autumnal rust-coloured and golden leaves.
I'm still in shock about what happened in the city I now call home. The scary thing is it could have been me or any of my friends, as the places they targeted were bars and restaurants which I and they often go to... I've heard so many stories of near misses, of friends who were meant to be in le Petit Cambodge or Le Carillon that night for example, but by some weird twist of fate they decided not to go or were prevented from going. The one positive thing that has come out of these atrocities is the sense of community - Parisians and people around the world have rallied together in defiance. Just this week there have been various events, such as #tousaubistrot - encouraging Parisians to support and eat in their favourite restaurants and bistros as an act of defiance. I will not stop enjoying my life here, having coffee with friends in cafes, dining in restaurants, strolling the Parisian streets - I will try to be more vigilant if that is possible, but I will not let the fear seep too far into me.
I've spent the last five days not only trying to process what's happened in my mind, but trying to educate myself as much as possible, reading about who these people are who want to spread fear and terror, and destroy our way of living. This article written for The Atlantic earlier this year does a great job at explaining who they are, where they came from and why they're doing what they're doing.. Anyway I want this blog to be a space for positivity and inspiration so I will let the rest of the photos I took on top of the Arc de Triomphe do the talking and act as a little tribute to the city I love.