Paris is often referred to as the City of Love. Lovelocks adorn every conceivable fixture, couples are attached at the lips on street corners throughout the city, and the phrase "I'm traveling to Paris" tends to be met with sighs and coos along the lines of "Oh! How romantic!" Now, I agree that Paris is romantic. I love this city with every ounce of my heart. However, being the City of Love comes with some unreasonably high expectations.

Yes, you can walk arm-in-arm down the Seine snacking on a fresh baguette and brie. And yes, doing that is exactly as fun and whimsical as it sounds. But Paris isn't all macarons and accordion music. It's more complex than that. It's murkier, grittier, and just a bit more human. To quote Paris to the Moon, “A Paris you can see right through hardly seems worth having.” If you come to this town expecting something wholly removed from reality, you're going to be disappointed. The metros are crammed and sweaty. Graffiti is everywhere. Tourists are more plentiful than pigeons, and will unknowingly do their damnedest to ruin all of your photos. And guess what? These blemishes are just as much a part of this town as the damn Eiffel Tower. If you don't accept them, then you don't really understand what it means to love this city.

In the images below, I tried to balance Paris' beautiful architectural details and the people that live among them. I hope you enjoy! I'll be posting images from Cote d'Azur soon.