Living in Europe with the military you meet many different kinds of military spouses. Some of them stay tucked away in their comfortable homes and lack the determination to just get out and explore. If you knew me in high school you would think I would be that type of person. I’m not outgoing when it comes to socialization, but I guess what I lack in social skills I make up for in determination. And boy was I determined to see Paris!
I love Paris! For a small town girl it was a little overwhelming with all of the activity, the warnings about pick pockets and crazy drivers, but the history, art and beauty of the place made up for it all. My family and I drove into the city, quickly found the hotel and then quickly got lost looking for parking. Once we made it inside to our room we were excited to see that we had a view overlooking the river with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
When you travel you always have to plan ahead right? You make your hotel reservations, check the city map to plan out how you will get around, decide what you want to see etc. I did this before we went and the plan was to take the subway from the hotel over to the Arc de Triumph and ride a tour bus around the city. Well the first problem we encountered was not being able to figure out which route to buy a ticket for at the kiosk in the subway station. So, no problem we decided to hoof it over to the Arc, it was only about a mile and a half, no big deal. That is exactly what we did, dragging along our two kids ages 9 and 7 at the time. When we got to the bus my feet hurt but I was not about to complain to my husband when we were staring at the Arc de Triumph in PARIS!
When we got to the Eiffel Tower we hopped off the bus to look around and I checked my boot to see why my foot hurt so much. Well, my sock was soaked in blood on the heal of my right foot and bleeding a little on my left heal as well. That was quite a shock to see, but one that I will never forget because it illustrates how determined I can be when I have a goal to achieve. It must be something like what an athlete feels when they get injured in a game, it’s more of an annoyance than pain because it gets in the way of your goal. A little blood wasn’t keeping me from enjoying this day!
Once again I am in awe of all the detail in historic cities like this. Every where you look there are beautiful buildings, beautiful statues, beautiful people. The fashion always amazes me because I like pretty things, even if I don’t like to dress myself for fashion and instead opt for comfort. You can tell that there was a lot of planning that went into the streets in Paris. From the very beginning they laid the streets out in an organized manner. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I heard that the circle surrounding the Arc De Triumph was created in the shape of a star from the very first farmers carts that brought produce into the city. In other European cities there was a lot of tearing down and restructuring. While I’m sure that had to happen to some degree in Paris, it seems like they were also very aware of the future and planned for progress. Streets are lined up and landmarks are in line making one large piece of art from the many structures of the city. For example, the Egyptian Obelisque lines up with the Arc de Triumph and the crisp straight lines of the Arc in La Defense.
Design takeaway – To me Paris is very feminine. I see thin elegant lines, light colors, patterns and geometrical shapes.
UX takeaway – Build for the present with the future in mind. Also, keeping users in mind and creating in an organized clean manner. Creating clean straight lines at the root of the design helps keep everything organized.
And finally I must add the obligatory Eiffel Tower photo. 🙂