One of the biggest culture shocks I get when I return to the States is how green spaces are not (or no longer?) valued here as they are in Europe. I struggle to relate to the desire for more stone, more neon signs, more strip malls. This bothers me to such a degree that when I met a guy who may indeed have a strong political career in front of him in the USA, he guaranteed me a job during his presidency (haha!) that would be based on this very Monocle idea of everyone having good access to green spaces. That’s right, Julie, Secretary of Green Spaces. 😉

Last year when I arrived in Paris, I was so depressed at a certain point because Winter in the USA had been long, and then I arrived to three weeks of pouring rain. When the sun would come out once in a blue moon, I would plant myself in a Parisian park and read or people watch between rain storms. I am not sharing anything new here that the French know how to sit back and enjoy a moment, I know. What strikes me is that even in today’s world that is overtaken with people looking down at their smart devices, the Parisian parks manage to usurp any desire to do that (unless it’s to pull up a photo app!) and incite a desire to sit back and watch, enjoy, and soak it all in.