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Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms

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by Kristen Hines

A place and time

By Kristen Hines

Place: Apple Opéra, 12 rue Halévy, Paris (first two photos); Carrousel du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli (last one)
Time: October 5, 2011
What is happening: It’s easy to exaggerate how different other cultures are from our own. And it probably goes without saying that Paris is the most easy city of them all to romanticize. Be they about Paris’s thriving bookstores (that sell only books!), insouciant street style, lax traffic rules or the pervasive belief that Parisians don’t gain weight despite a steady diet of pastry and cheese, the mythologies abound. Continue reading “A place and time”

San Francisco, 6 years later

By Kristen Hines

I visited San Francisco for the first time six years ago in July 2010.

I like to immerse myself in a new city the first time I visit. About two weeks — long enough to move through the five stages of grief for the reluctant traveller: bargaining (mostly at the airport), unfounded overconfidence in one’s navigational abilities, rage, eating and, finally, acceptance.

This initial immersion, while intense, makes subsequent trips much easier and more enjoyable. I learned a lot about San Francisco on that first visit and, when I returned for a long weekend this past June, I noticed how much had changed … and hadn’t. Here’s what I observed. Continue reading “San Francisco, 6 years later”

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