My Guide to Paris
A collection of my favorite spots, some typical and well-known, others tucked away off the beaten track. My personal guide to seeing the best Paris has to offer.

This past year living in Paris was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I made friends from several different countries, I picked up an internship that helped me discover passions and skills and I didn’t know I had, and learned countless other things about myself as a person along the way. I decided to go ahead and post this map, although I may end up making changes and adding things to it in the future. 
This is just a small collection of places I might spend a typical day & I hope it can help anyone else out there discover some amazing spots in the beautiful city of light. 


Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service! Today in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Organic Act which created the NPS and paved the way for the protection of our most beautiful, rugged, and historic places. Thank you to all those involved with the NPS that work to keeping our parks pristine.

Admission to all NPS units is free from August 25th to August 28th in celebration of the Centennial, so get out there and enjoy one near you. If you’d like to know more about how you can participate in the Centennial, then head over to

Joel Sternfeld. Yellowstone National Park. August 1979 | MoMA

Celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service with Joel Sternfeld’s stunning photo of Yellowstone National Park. 

[Joel Sternfeld. Yellowstone National Park. August 1979. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Joel Sternfeld]

(via Joel Sternfeld. Yellowstone National Park. August 1979 | MoMA)

The national park is the best idea America ever had

“It’s a reminder that despite the fact that the country seems to be very nearly coming apart at the seams, there is still much to recommend it — namely, its spectacular beauty. When it comes to protected public lands, there are none better than America’s.

Ours is a boastful nation, prone to ridiculous exaggeration of our own innovativeness. Too often, it’s empty wind. In a great many areas — like our disastrously inefficient medical system, or our pathetic passenger rail — we’re still far behind where Europe was 50-80 years ago. Heck, we can’t even match Romania at internet speed — and that was developed here a mere generation back!

But national parks are unquestionably an American development. Pushed by American writers and activists, we established the first one in 1872: Yellowstone National Park. This served as a model around the world, from Australia to South Africa to Costa Rica. As Wallace Stegner once wrote, national parks might fairly be called ‘the best idea we ever had.’”

(Keep reading.)

KQED SCIENCE: National Parks Have Some Work to Do, to Become ‘Parks for All’

“They don’t feel a sense of connection,” says Nina Roberts, professor at San Francisco State University. “They just don’t feel that relationship.”

The National Park Service does preserve places that are historically and culturally significant to many peoples. Think of the birthplace of the farmworker movement in California, Aztec ruins in New Mexico, and an African burial ground in Manhattan.

But across the system, most park employees are Caucasian. The uniforms make rangers look like immigration officials. And, Roberts says, many African-Americans, particularly elders, fear the outdoors and carry the scars of slavery and lynchings.

And there are subtle ways the park has discriminated.

“At a local park here in Washington D.C., for a time, the only signs in Spanish were ‘No drinking allowed in the park,'” says Alan Spears, director of cultural resources with the National Parks Conservation Association.

Read more

Common Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)

While visiting the caverns, keep your eyes out for the common collared lizard! It is a beautifully colored North American lizard that can reach 8–14 inches (20–36 cm) in length (including the tail), with a large head and powerful jaws. They are well known for the ability to run on their hind legs, looking like small dinosaurs. They love warm weather and often bask in the  desert sun!

Photograph by Dakota L. | Wikipedia

(via: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM)