I decided to take Day 18’s assignment literally, and took the opportunity to start my “Frenchie Finds” part of my blog. Here I stumbled upon a little part of Paris’ history in Maui.
During my two-week holiday in Hawaii last March, I stumbled across a beautiful photograph shop on Front street. Front street is well-known for its art scene, and is scattered with art shops containing a range of art in several different forms, so this was one of a few I had visited.
As I explored the shop, browsing the beautiful photos, I reached the back of the store, which contained piles of replica vintage maps (these are printed on a thick canvas-like material). I flicked through the pile of european maps wondering if there was a Paris one. The lovely sales assistant was so knowledgeable about the maps, she pulled out several maps of Paris for me, all from different eras. She quizzed me (my husband had mentioned how obsessed I was with Paris) asking what was missing from the 1854 map. My eye quickly glazed over the Champ de Mars and had confirmed what I thought originally. Paris lovers will know instantly what it is:
It’s the iconic Tour Eiffel, as it had not been built yet (it wasn’t opened until 1899 World’s Fair). When I saw the map, I was in awe of the history it held.
I ended up leaving the store with a 16″ x 20″ Paris map, as well as 12″ x 15″ maps of London and New York. I envisage a wall with the three maps altogether, with Paris in the centre of course.
If you’re in Maui and are looking for a replica antique map, or some beautiful photos, a visit to this shop is worthwhile.
764 Front Street, Lahaina
Writing 101: Day 18
A map as your muse
But the truth of the matter is, there are more maps in the world than anyone can count. Every person draws a map that shows themselves at the center.
— By Catherynne M. Valente, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland
With maps, we tell tales about ourselves and the places we come from, that we miss, that we’ve reshaped in our minds. We use maps to identify and explore locations and points in between, to track movements, and to make sense of our lives — past and present.
Today, let a map be your muse. Select an area anywhere in the world on Google Maps (or your preferred online map tool), or a section on a paper map, and use this as inspiration for your post. Some ideas:
- Tell us about your connection to this place. If you’ve never been there, why did you choose it?
- Pen a poem inspired by the area’s topography.
- Write a piece of memoir in the form of directions from point A to point B, in which each item reveals something about you or the area, like in Anna Fonte’s “How to Get There.“
- Use this geographic map as a model for a mental and more imaginary map, like this map of the lyrical essay from Nina Gaby.
- Switch to Street View and write a story based on what you see.
- Write an essay set in this location, like Dinty Moore’s Google Maps piece, “Mr. Plimpton’s Revenge.”