Yep, here we go again. Save the date on your calendar, here comes Art Basel Hong Kong right around the corner. Art Basel has a pretty good spread across the globe at this point, of course the annual in Basel Switzerland itself, the somewhat iconic although over rated Art Basel in Miami for all of […]
The first time I went up the Eiffel Tower, I was three years old — an awestruck young child who believed the tower was tall enough to touch the sky. Maybe that early experience is why every time I go back, there’s a moment of disappointment; of, “Oh, that’s all? I thought it was taller than that.” Or maybe it’s that the tower’s reputation and fame is so massive, and stretches so high, that the physical reality of the structure wouldn’t be able to reach it no matter how tall it was.
It’s easy to build Paris up in your mind like that, I think. You have these images of the Eiffel Tower, or the Arc de Triomphe, or that controversial glass pyramid at the Louvre, or of Notre Dame, and they’re so magnificent and awe-inspiring that there’s no way the reality could possibly not be diminished by the expectations.
The thing about Paris is that it’s able to absorb that moment of vague disappointment or disillusionment, and then show you that the reality is strong enough to support the reputation and expectation. It only takes a moment to come to your senses, to realize that the Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon himself, or that the Louvre’s pyramid marks the museum that holds the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
By the time you get to the top of the Eiffel Tower, you’re breathless over its beauty, the initial disillusionment over its height forgotten. And that’s the real magic of Paris.