The first time I used the Paris Métro, it was on the way to Cité station to visit Notre-Dame de Paris. I stepped onto a busy carriage, held on to the railing and as the train set in motion, an accordionist played La vie en rose.
Until that very moment, the romance of Paris only existed in my dreams.
The journey to Cité saw the beginning of a love affair with le métro parisien. Whether I’m buying a carnet of 10 métro tickets, replenishing my Passe Navigo Découverte, or planning a longer journey that avoids Châtelet, every time I step through the entrance of a station, I commit a part of Paris to memory.
From that defining moment, every trip to the City of Light includes planned métro rides which allow me to photograph different métropolitain stations. Much like Louis Malle’s 1960 movie Zazie dans le Métro, I have developed a quirky obsession with a mass rail system as old as 1900. I marvel at the interior designs and the elaborate façades. I delight in the labyrinth of colour that constitutes all 14 métro lines. I compare platform seats, entrances, train carriages, I even take note of the latest métro billboard advertising as I navigate the underground tunnels.
Much like métro stories, Gourmantic will feature a Paris Métro stations series designed to inspire the enjoyment of this public transportation system. The series will include historical highlights, photographs of the interior and entrances, métro art and nearby attractions should you decide to explore the neighbourhood.
Travelling on the Paris métro need not be about reaching the destination. It can be the beginning of a love affair, or as the French say, un coup de cœur.