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The NewSLU

The NewSLU

Postcard from…Paris, City of Love

Romance is the theme at the Eiffel Tower, even amid the aggressive souvenir hawkers, self-snappers and closed-off lawns
A rainbow peaks from behind the Eiffel Tower on a winter day.
Schuyler Moore
A rainbow peaks from behind the Eiffel Tower on a winter day.

The 16th Arrondissement in Paris holds arguably the most popular spot in all of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. The area surrounding it is filled with classic Parisian architecture, and the streets of white buildings with french balconies attract flocks of people walking toward the landmark. Approaching the tower, each person sports a surprised and shocked look on their face as they begin to approach the grand building in person. 

One recent winter day, a couple with a little boy and girl are approaching the tower, and the young daughter asks, “Mommy where is it?” Her older brother points upward. Shocked, the little girl replies, “Wow, it’s so much bigger.” 

On this day, the Eiffel tower is technically closed due to a strike; however, that does not stop the crowds of tourists and French people alike from visiting the famous locale. Metal gates enclose the usually sardine-packed grass lawn, but the sidewalks remain open, forcing each visitor intothe small, concrete walkways. Men with tripods take self-timed photos of themselves, and vendors try to sell plastic replicas of the tower, heckling passersby. Couples hold hands, taking selfies mid-kiss in front of it. 

The city of love truly lives up to the expectations as each nook and cranny of open space at the Eiffel tower is taken up by couples, families, friends, or other loved ones. 

A photogenic German couple, a blonde man and woman, holds hands, the woman holding up her free left hand to show off her engagement ring. Her perfectly French-manicured hand displays her large-and-in-charge diamond ring while her future husband smiles at her lovingly for the photo that they had asked another tourist to take. 

That tourist is an older Spanish man who is accompanied by what looks to be his wife, judging from their shared kiss on the check and adoring looks while interacting with the young couple. 

The Spanish man offers friendly advice to the younger German man, who is soon to be married: “Good luck! It is not easy but worth it.” 

The older man’s wife laughs. 

The German couple have that blissfully-in-love look on their faces. They brush off the comment made by the older couple with a simple, “It is easy with us.” 

The theme of love can be seen elsewhere at the tower, too. A content creator in his mid-20s is interviewing people with microphone and cameraman for his YouTube channel. The theme: finding love in Paris. He often asks someone if he can interview them, and many say no due to language barriers or disinterest, leaving the YouTuber and his crew standing there awkwardly, rejected. However, on a few occasions people are glad to participate. 

He asks them: “Do you believe in love? Why or why not?” and “Have you ever been in love?”

The responses varied on why, but almost every person said, yes, they had, in fact, been in love. It is clear that love is in the air at the Eiffel tower.

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