Anya Steinmetz ’23 is a student at Colgate University and she participated in the Hamilton in France program this spring. In this new Paris Portrait, she tells us about her exploration of green spaces in Paris.

“Bonjour! My name is Anya Steinmetz and I am an Environmental Studies and French double major at Colgate University.

When I first came to Paris I did not know what to expect. While I had been before, I wasn’t sure what was going to catch my eye or what activities I would take up during my 5-months stay here. I decided to take a Paris Architecture class with Hamilton which gave me the opportunity to explore the city while learning about the history behind it.

Upon taking the class, I quickly learned about one of the best wonders of Paris: Les jardins et les parcs! [The gardens and parks!] In terms of green space, we started off learning about the history of the Tuileries Garden and soon started to learn about all sorts of outdoor, green space in the city. I knew I would be able to find comfort in nature while in a completely foreign city. So, I went beyond the class and made it my mission to go to a new garden or park almost every week.

I was lucky enough that Reid Hall is located close to le Jardin du Luxembourg; I could eat lunch with my friends in a beautiful garden that encapsulates the history and tradition of Paris. I also had the chance to go to le Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. It is an English-style park. One can sit up on a hill while enjoying the view of a waterfall, horse rides, and a charming bridge that arches over the park. You might even see a parrot in a tree!

Exploring gardens and parks in Paris was the perfect way for me to explore the city. I found myself in almost every arrondissement at some point to find some nature. I even ventured out to the Bois de Boulogne in Paris’ outskirts to see the picturesque Parc Bagatelle.

From January to May, I was able to take pleasure from the outdoor spaces that Paris has to offer. This is my favorite part about Paris as I’ve never been able to find such vastly different parks that are equally enchanting in their own ways.

While I am sad to leave the city of lights, I know that the greenery of Paris will always be there, lighting up everyone’s days.”

[Photo courtesy of Anya Steinmetz]