Whether one is a tourist, resident, or expat, having a “room with a view” is always desirable, and as a property owner, it adds value. As a student at AUP and now Paris resident, chose to live close to campus for easy access to class. Being that AUP is in the 7eme arrondissement, I found myself in an apartment right next to the Eiffel Tower. Gazing out of my windows daily, I can always see the countless visitors who make the trek up the Eiffel Tower for views of the city. Walking down my street at anytime, one always finds tourists stopping to marvel at the view of the Eiffel Tower looming over them. This experience made me reflect upon the visual experience of living in this neighborhood.
For me as a resident, this environment is experienced, not so much as a cultural experience or touristic practice, but as part of my everyday lived experience – my norm. The creation of memory in this space, even with its close proximity to such a cultural monument and icon, is simply as something that makes up the landscape of the city. The significance is seemingly lost on me. In contrast, the significance and value of the gaze and visual opportunity is with relation to its proximity to a cultural monument and icon. The closer to the Eiffel Tower, the greater the value added to the view. Perhaps the value derived from this experience for visitors engaging in the practice of tourism is as a memory practice through the visual and material consumption of Paris. This is thus the tourist gaze, and therefore a greater sense of immediacy in the experience of the proximity to the material icon of the Eiffel Tower. Whereas the memory practice for me is around the construction of my own personallived experience, rather than a particular site.