New York vs. Paris
Start writing a post

New York vs. Paris

Why we need to stop comparing two of the world's most lovable cities.

New York vs. Paris
Nikki Link

New York and Paris, as defined in one of my journalism classes, are “lovable cities.” They’re characterized by high costs of living, diverse populations, rich history, and the tendency to hold the world spellbound with their every move. While there are many other “lovable” cities out there, New York and Paris are unarguably at the top of the list. Many people want to live there, but few actually do.

For these reasons, people fall into the habit of comparing them. However, after spending the last three years dividing my life, more or less, between them, I must say it’s a habit we need to break.

Outside the fact that New York and Paris are both “lovable cities,” nothing about them can really be compared. Press your nose up against that transparent definition, and two very different landscapes will emerge. These cities aren’t reflections of each other, but two distinct entities gazing lovingly at one another through the wrong end of idealized telescopes.

New York-themed paraphernalia chokes Parisian department stores, and are worn or presented as a badge of honor by the city’s youth in much the same way the young people of New York think anything French-themed is chic. (Case in point, I own a tote that has the equivalent of “good job” written in French on the side. I digress that they’re grasp of English quotes are better than our French ones.)

Every time a petit French café opens in New York, a food truck selling tacos hits the rues of Paris. In short, they’re obsessed with each other, each city viewing the other as intriguingly foreign. Some find the mimicry dangerous, thinking that the two cities will eventually morph into the same tacky version of each other. I simply find it cute. The trends really come and go too quickly to corrupt either city’s soul.

New York is a loud cacophony of construction, sirens, and horns. It’s a gritty patchwork of little cities knitted together by the 8.4 million people who crisscross it every day. It’s fueled by an intoxicating concoction of frustration, passion, and some stale version of the American Dream™. It’s one of the few places in the world where even the happiest people feel a little alone. Those who come to stay eventually leave. Those who try to leave can’t help themselves from coming back for more.

Paris is an ancient and enchanting spider web of streets, twisting and changing names with every intention to get you lost. It’s 40 square miles crammed with enough monuments for ten cities, and enough restaurants to entice any gourmand for several lifetimes. It’s a ballet set to the soundtrack of poorly-played accordion music and the gentle sighs of those who gaze out their Haussmannian windows on a rainy day. It’s a city where the bakeries are always crowded, and the churches are empty. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can fall in love with nothing at all.

They are the sun and the moon, fire and water, earth and sky. They’re loveable cities that fascinate all, and truly entrap a few. As for me, both succeeded. When I’m in one city, part of me always longs for the other, a heart pulled in two different directions.

It’s a difficult sentiment to describe, but if I strain to look through the gap between my closed blinds, the swaying trees of New York City look like the sea. In Paris, they look like the clouds that airplanes skim across as they fall to earth. Before a storm, both are terribly beautiful.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Rebecca Alvarez

Rebecca Alvarez is many things: founder, sexologist, CEO, mentor, and more — as a Latina businesswoman, each of her endeavors is grounded in the strong principles of inclusivity and diversity, especially in sexual health and wellness. Bloomi is the product of her all of her shared passions, and with it she has fostered a community of like-minded, passionate women.

Keep Reading... Show less

There is not a consistent standard for health education in the United States. There are a lot of variables that go into this — what state a student lives in, whether they go to a public or private school, and the district's funding and priorities. These variables can be argued for any subject, not just health class. But as we continue to grow as a society, hopefully bettering our education system along the way, it's crucial to consider this often-forgotten element of a child's schooling.

Keep Reading... Show less

In March, the whole country shut down. School was online, extra-curriculars were canceled, and I found myself laying in bed all day every day. One day, as I was laying in bed contemplating my laziness, I decided that I wanted to do something to make myself more healthy. I was feeling so down on myself and my laziness so I decided to make a change.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Songs That Made It Onto My September Playlist

September is the month for Los Angeles natives and Australian music fans.


The Neighbourhood, Bad Suns and The Driver Era are three Los Angeles bands that released songs this month. Not only was it a month for Los Angeles bands, but many Australian bands released new music — San Cisco's fourth studio album, Surf Trash single, Skegss single, and High Tropics single. I made new discoveries this month and was pleased by the amount of new music.

Read the listicle below to learn what came out this month in alternative rock music:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Staying Active While You're Stuck Inside IS Possible, It Just Takes Some Small Steps

I know the last thing you want to think about right now is exercising, but it's time to put down the controller and put on your workout clothes.


As someone who has also been living on a bed since March, I can guarantee you that working out has been the last thing on my priority list. It's pretty far down there, along with my motivation and brain cells I used to use for work. However, I have made an effort in the past couple of weeks to move up exercising to at least number three on my priorities list.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Got Clean At A Very Young Age, And It Honestly Saved My Life

At 18, the world looked so much different for me than it did for most other 18-year-olds that I knew.

Emmie Pombo

Going into rehab when I was 19 was hands down the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. My addiction started when I was around 17 and spiraled and spiraled out of control, as addictions always do. However, looking back, I'm so lucky my addiction started and ended when it did.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Things Your Partner Can Do To Support You When You Have PCOS

Don't be afraid to ask for help or comfort if you need it.


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may not be totally visible to the eye, which makes it a lot harder for your partner to understand what's going on with your body.

If you are in a relationship, it's important that you communicate your PCOS symptoms with your partner. I say "your" symptoms specifically because everyone's symptoms are different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Watched 'The Social Dilemma' And YIKES, I'm Terrified For The Next Generation's Mental Health

Millennials can remember a time without online social affirmation, but we may be the last ones.

The Social Dilemma / Netflix

I've been in a media job for the entirety of my professional career. From part-time social media internships to full-time editorial work, I've continued to learn how to tell stories, write catchy headlines, and keep people interested. I believe working in media is a big responsibility, as well as a valuable way to advance our world.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

One Indictment, Three Charges, And No Justice For Breonna Taylor

We can't settle for this decision or a system that is fundamentally broken and unequal.


On March 13, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot in her apartment by police who were executing a "no-knock" warrant. Since then, there have been rallying efforts both in the streets and on social media demanding justice for Taylor and keeping her name known.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments