11/27/2013 10:48 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Paris Secrets Only a Local Would Know

Global Yodel sent photographer Juan Jerez Del Valle out with a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Paris to get his perspective on what it means to use a travel guide in his hometown.

He sent back an amazing series of photos (see slideshow below) and this locals guide interview.


Global Yodel: Place you live:

Juan Jerez Del Valle: Paris, France

GY: Can you sum up Paris?

JJ: Paris is an astonishing theatre. Streets, squares and monuments compose its relentless scenography where the most beautiful drama takes place: Lifeworld.

GY: Can you sum up the people of Paris?

JJ: The personality of the people in Paris reflects the colors of the sky. The graceful melancholy of the grey days makes way for the joyful happiness when light is pervading the whole city. Light is more.

GY: Did you find anything new or inspiring about Paris in the DK Eyewitness Travel Guidebook?

JJ: Like the flâneur de Baudelaire, I usually get lost in Paris without any destination, shooting with my camera the lifeworld (die Lebenswelt, by Edmund Husserl). The city is for me a continuously changing scenario. Therefore the experience of using the Guidebook was a new and different adventure. A guide is more than a map. It is an accurate description of the geography of a city. Every historical section, any advice, any choice of the guide comes from the experience of the author. Knowing Paris through the eyes of another spectator allows one to discover hints and places unknown before. It is amazing to feel like a traveler in your own city.

GY: How did the guidebook influence the photos you went out to take of your city?

JJ: Through this guide I earned a deeper knowledge of the scenarios of Paris.

GY: Tell us about the photos you shot for this project?

JJ: I do not think there is just one Paris. Representing the richness and complexity of the city is a challenging and hard task. First of all I tried to focus myself on the places and monuments that belong to the collective imagination. Then I tried to capture the moody aspect of Paris that reflects into the chromatic variety of the city.

GY: Occupation:

JJ: Architect/photographer

GY: A perfect day in Paris?

JJ: Having breakfast in the morning at café Panis next to Notredame. Cycling to work through Les Marais. Eating at Les Café des Anges. Getting lost at sunset along the Seine. Everything enlightened by the sun.

GY: What do you love about Paris?

JJ: The immense and ubiquitous beauty.

GY: What do you dislike?

JJ: The indifference.

GY: If your city was a person or character who would they be?

JJ: Diana in "Diana's Bathing" by Boucher (Musée du Louvre).

GY: What was your impression of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guidebook?

JJ: It gives a thorough description of the beauty of Paris. Few texts but effective ones. Pictures help in understanding the complexity of such a rich city even though sometimes the sizes are too small.

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Secrets of Paris Only Locals Know