Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Morgan and I am a self declared amateur professional Paris historian. Whether you’ve been here for a while or are new, I just wanted to take a moment and tell you my philosophy and future aspirations for Paris History of our Streets.
Let me start by saying that this page is unique in the sense that I combine not only French history with humor, but also a different perspective of current day Paris that I feel very passionate informing others about. The real Paris. (Or at least my Midwest American Interpretation of it)
History is my passion, but I also have a lot to say about life here in modern times. Relationships with French people, dealing with administration, raising a Franco-American child, and navigating all the little cultural roadblocks.. As a mother, teacher, and very middle class bordering on middle aged adult who got lucky enough to meet a wonderful French man in 2015 and then build a life here for the long haul; I never planned on living here when I first arrived as a student in 2013.
I think there is a refreshing honesty in that which some people might want to see in an era of social media where Paris is defined by gorgeous, yet very bland and repetitive depictions that aren’t part of daily life here or at least those who call Paris home. There is nothing wrong with pictures of beautiful girls with berets and fresh cut flowers skipping along the Pont Alexandre III to the soundtrack of “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain” with the Eiffel Tower rising up in the background, BUT NO ONE ACTUALLY DOES THAT!
I did not come to France for the fashion, food, literature, or work. I won’t share snap shots of me sniffing organic plums at an outdoor marché or sipping espresso from monogrammed Café du Flore saucers because those things don’t define this city for me and its not my style; It’s not me. I’m not classy, trendy, or sophisticated. I shop at Lidl and use public transport. I don’t know the difference between champagne and Prosecco and I prefer a lively pub with sticky floors and a cellar dancefloor to an upscale wine bar.
When I describe Paris it’s the way the sunset hits the façade of a 19th century Haussmannien building in such a way that it seems to glow from within. It’s a medieval street with uneven cobble stone that looks the same as it did in photos 100 years old and the noise of a street cleaner singing Charles Aznavour to himself as he clears street curbs at 7am.
I don’t want to hear about the Louvre from a crop topped Instragram influencer; I want to ask the cleaning lady how it feels to be alone with the Mona Lisa as she cleans the floors at night after everyone is gone.
I won’t give you sunsets at the Eiffel Tower, but I will open your eyes to the details you might not see otherwise, a delicate window shutter holder or a historical marker. I can’t afford Michelin starred restaurants or 6€ espressos and even if I could, I would still choose the old school “Mom and Pop” bistros with red checkered cloth table tops and spotty wine glasses.
I have no formal history training but what I teach you won’t be regurgitated names and dates you can find yourself in any tour guide or history book. I want to make history fun and relatable and never feel condescending. My sense of humor is what sets me apart and it might not appeal to everyone, but I stand behind it.
What I share here comes from my heart and I want you to find the beauty in the details that are often overlooked or ignored. My “Joie de Vivre” comes from the times that people have told me, “I go down this street regularly and never noticed that!” and that’s what drives me. I hope you will continue to follow me along as I share my Paris discoveries and become not only my followers, but my friends.
A few of you already have, you know who you are. There are a few fun projects that are coming my way and my goal is that this page increases not only in notority, but in quality and content. I always pledge to always be honest, open, and and real.
Plus I like to run around Paris in a T-Rex costume