Earlier this month I celebrated two anniversaries. First, September 6th marked seven years since I first arrived in Paris. Seven years! I had only planned on staying for four months, but after just a couple of days, I realized that Paris was home. Of course, convincing the French government to let me stay was another matter altogether. Over the past seven years, there have been lots of tears, moments of joy, and one particularly angry immigration agent who threatened to deport me a couple of years back. But along the way, I have met an extraordinary network of friends and colleagues, made admirable progress in attaining my lifelong dream of living among stacks of books, and started a new career as a tour guide. Which brings me to my second anniversary. September 6th also marks three years since I officially launched Story of a City.
The name is very deliberate. I have always been a storyteller. I’ve always been fascinated by the art and structure of a good story. I’ve also always been fascinated by history, so let’s just say that tour guiding was a natural fit. In my opinion, the best tours are those that tell you a story instead of simply listing off a bunch of facts. Of course, you have to know the facts. But I love finding the most interesting ways to present them. How can I wrap them all up in a story that will capture the audience’s attention? More importantly, how do I hold that attention for the duration of a tour? I believe the answer is storytelling. And from this belief, Story of a City was born.
I had already been guiding for other companies for several years when I first had the idea. But I decided I wanted to create my own tours. Specifically, I wanted to create tours that were based in storytelling. Tours that would allow me to share all the weird and wonderful stories of French history. Because believe me when I say there are a lot of them. It’s one of the many, many reasons why I find French history to be so fascinating. In addition to the tours, I also wanted a place to write about French history, visiting Paris, and my life in this beautiful city. I’ve now written nearly 150 articles over the past three years, and I’m nowhere close to running out of ideas or things to write about.
Three years and one global pandemic later, Story of a City is still going strong. That’s why I decided to mark the occasion with a new look. I’m sure you’ve already noticed that the website has been redesigned, as has the newsletter. And Story of a City now has a brand new logo; a writing pen inspired by the stained glass windows at Notre Dame Cathedral, my favourite building in the city. Of course, the weekly stories will continue. They’ll just be coming to you in a much more stylish package. Whether you join me online or on tour, I hope you enjoy the many stories of Paris that I have to tell.
Here’s to the next three years!
A HUGE thank you to Contraste Colectivo for their work in getting Story of a City ready for this relaunch. They were amazing to work with!
Laura Moore is a professional storyteller who loves history and the many stories that make Paris one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Join one of her signature tours to learn the story of a city.