Miguel de Quiros
What do you do?
I’m a freelance video editor but I’m also an artist and a photographer.
When and why did you fall in love with Paris?
I was travelling with my family around Europe last year (2014), and Paris was one of our destinations. I wasn’t really excited to see the city, and I was kind of just using it as a stopover to get to Marseille and Nice. I didn’t to want line up or pay for museums and I didn’t want to see the Eiffel Tower up close, but as soon as I got down from the train in Gard du Nord, I felt it. That was [the moment], I suppose.
I don’t know if it’s the Parisian air, or the fact that everywhere you look there’s something new and exciting and amazing to see.
Any particular arrondissement/street/area/stores that you love? Why?
I was mostly hanging around the 2nd arrondissement, but I particularly liked walking around the 14th, and the 13th where it feels so quiet and simple. I actually didn’t know where I was most of time. I’m just lucky to always find my way.
Absolute favorite thing that you love to do in Paris?
There is nothing better than getting lost, letting the city just take away all your energy and finding yourself sitting in a bistro or a “cave à vin” having a quick glass of wine to rejuvinate.
Museum that you love?
The city itself. I didn’t have time nor money to see the museums so I
just kept on walking and looking up at buildings hoping to see a brilliant sculpture of a gargoyle or meticulously shaped pieces of iron and steel hanging from balconies. The architecture is fantastic, but so are the scenes of everyday people, from the most fashionable to the most depressed areas of the city.
Where do you love to eat?
I love the Moroccan places in the Latin Quartier, but mostly I just buy bread or take-away kebabs and felafel and eat in the parks.
What do you love to do at night?
At night, I leave my camera behind and travel light. Walking around the Sacré Coeur area is a pleasure. I just make sure to walk against the flow of the tourists, and I find local gems.
What is your most memorable moment in Paris?
I had Vietnamese lunch with my mom in the Chinoise Quartier, but then split up right after. She was on her way to Pigalle and as I kept walking opposite her direction, I failed to realize that I was right at the edge of the city. I passed through a park, a cemetery, and sports stadium. Before I knew it, I was walking beside the highway. There were no pedestrians nor public transportation in sight. I didn’t want to turn back. I didn’t want to see the same things, and I knew that there was more to see, so I kept walking.
I was right. The city never runs out of things to show. So much so that every street told a different story. There’s too much to tell.
Eventually, after three to four hours of walking, soaking wet from the rain, I was back at the Seine.
Finds you love – fashion-wise, beauty-wise, food-wise, art-wise, etc?
I found the sex shops around the Moulin Rouge enjoyable. Coming from the Philippines where safe sex is absurd, and fetishism is porn, the sex shops of Paris can be quite liberating for the mind. There was no feeling of judgement or malice.
I was looking for an underbust corset for my girlfriend.
In one of the stores, a couple old enough to be early grandparents entered. It felt so casual, and in a way, I found it cute.
Anyway, I was able to buy one, a good quality leather corset for 50 euros. It was the perfect fit, if only I had remembered that corsets are supposed to be smaller in size.
What else would you love to see and experience in Paris? I guess I’d want to experience the inside of more buildings. Also, to buy a corset of proper size.
I’d love to see the paintings of Renoir. I’d want to take more photos, yet see more outside the lens of a camera.
To turn into a Parisian (legit enough to fool even actual Parisians), how should one act or dress? What makes a Parisian, Parisian?
A Parisian is not of French lineage, or at least not fully. In a city so diverse in race and culture, a Frenchman would be more mistaken as a vacationer than a local.
A Parisian should be as warm and welcoming as the city itself. One should be quirky, and kind, yet be as unpredictable as the weather.
Photos, Miguel de Quiros.