Reclaiming Experience

This blog is a tool for recording my experiences as well as evaluating my day-to-day life. With my camera in hand, I will make meaning out of my life.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 253: Eiffel Tower

I thought I'd share a little writing with you today.  I was hoping to accomplish much more, but my workload is too full.  In the piece below you can see my intro to my chapter on the Eiffel Tower neighborhood.  It is in the roughest draft form because I haven't even read back through it to see if it makes sense or to enhance my word choice.  I thought it might be interesting for you to see where I start and then how it transforms into something much better (hopefully).  Later I will post a revised version.

Chapter 5: Eiffel Tower
            The first time I saw the Eiffel Tower, I was not as wowed as many others are.  Comparing the images from books and videos to what I saw in front of me was unsatisfying.  The area seemed dirty and filled with cheap souvenirs.  I remember seeing lush greens on the Champ de Mars sprinkled with couples picnicking and taking in the icon.  When I was there I saw littered grass, ugly temporary fences keeping people off the grass, and smog from buses clouded my view.  My second return to the tower was about the same.  It was just not what I had imagined.   Perhaps my expectations were too high.
            It wasn’t till my third trip that I found appreciation for the INSERT STATISTICAL FACT Eiffel Tower.  I was in Paris for one day and I was ridiculous in my attempt to see all of my favorites of Paris.  I purchased a carnet and used it all in one day.  My hotel was on Rue Cler which is a great neighborhood if you are interested in staying near the Eiffel Tower.  Towards the end of my evening, I put my metro tickets away and prepared for my Paris stroll.  I could see the Eiffel Tower from the end of the block, so I started walking in that direction.  My walk took me through a new area that felt more residential and genuine.  As I reached the end of a new block, the Eiffel Tower peaked through, growing in size as I approached it.  The contrast of the picturesque sky, pale yellow homes, full green leaves, and vintage metal created a palate of beautiful colors.  Soon the buildings came to an end as I approached a park.  I had only seen the tower from the front and back, but never the sides.  I think that everyone’s first view should be from the east side.  This wonderful garden masks the roar from the tourists on the other side.  The trees frame the Eiffel Tower as you get closer and closer.  It felt as though this view was much more intimate.  It was this moment that made me realize how beautiful the architecture is.
            Entering the city on my most recent trip was enhanced by the symbol of Paris.  Now as I see it in the distance, I know that I am in Paris. 

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