It does not matter whether you are a farmer, a geneticist, or whatever you do with your time: you will almost certainly be affected in important, unexpected ways after time spent in Paris. There are many reasons, but for the moment we draw on a selection (we took out pomp and glitz) of the photos shared in honor of Bastille Day on the Atlantic’s website to think of only one: the intersection of old and new in urban design. It is a city made beautiful by classicism as well as creative modernity. There is conservation of heritage but also brash forward-thinking visual statements in the city’s architecture. Luxury is visible throughout the city, but in different ways: historical, natural, consumerist; but you can walk not far from those cues and still believe that communities continue thriving in the city without wealth and privilege. Other great urban areas accomplish some of the same, but few as well as Paris.