Coffret de curiosités, Val d'Loire, France. Click photo to view detail.
Three years ago today, Paris Parfait was born. Now, 1,621 posts and hundreds of photographs later, it has evolved into something resembling a virtual curiosity cabinet. As a few readers have suggested, "I never know what I might find when I come here." To me, that's the highest of compliments; I like to mix things up - one minute writing about news and current events or showcasing travels in photo essays; the next, passionate about human rights or exulting over some quirky brocante find.
The statistics indicate Paris Parfait has received well over a million page views, from readers all over the world. But it's the friendships resulting from blogging that count. Not only have I had the opportunity to meet blogging buddies in person - in Paris, London, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Vancouver - several have become good friends. Further, the blog has rekindled my enthusiasm for photography; now I'm focusing on improving my skills.
In 2008, Paris Parfait served as a meeting place for many like-minded individuals working to help change the landscape of American politics. During a long, hard-fought presidential campaign, I openly expressed my views. My support for Barack Obama resulted in a few disgruntled readers falling by the wayside. One woman wrote something to the effect "I just hate it when I come to my favorite blogs expecting to see something nice and find someone giving their personal opinion." Needless to say, I suggested she look elsewhere for a place that's all sweetness and light.
Many readers were able to move past our political differences; others weren't so open-minded. No doubt, some international readers became weary of all the talk about the American presidential election. Still, they didn't give up on me, waiting patiently until my attention shifted to other topics.
In addition to the friendships, the greatest gift the blog has brought is the exchange of ideas. So many of you have provided inspiration with your unique, complicated stories and visionary art. It's a great joy to read and admire your sparkling reflections of truth and beauty, often viewed through laughter and tears. You've given me encouragement, support and solace when I needed it most. You've reminded me that speaking out is essential; every voice matters. You've made me believe possibilities are limited only by imagination.
To thank you for your unwavering support for Paris Parfait, I'll send a special Paris souvenir to three readers. Simply leave a comment about how blogging has affected you. Three winners will be drawn on February 3rd. Bon chance et merci bien!
Photographs of antiques and collectibles at a private chateau in the Loire Valley, France.