27 January 2007

Christmas in Paris

Welcome to Paris
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.

26 December 2006

What? You didn’t know I went to Paris over the holidays? I am sneaky like that...but truth be told, this part of Paris was firmly rooted in the Texas soil of Lamar County.

Around Christmas, I spent a few days visiting my friend Rochelle in McKinney, Texas, which is north of Dallas. When we learned that the town of Paris had erected a 64-foot steel structure in homage to the original (and two of her brothers were, indeed, in that famed city at the time), we knew a day trip was in the making. Of course, Texans have to put their own unique stamp on it, and perched atop the tower was a bright red cowboy hat!

Only in Texas

The central business district of Paris is part of the National Main Street Program, and even in the bleak tones of midwinter one can sense the charm and hospitality the town must exude during warmer months. The Culbertson Fountain dominates the center of the downtown plaza, a gift to commemorate the rebuilding of Paris after a fire in 1916.

Paris plaza fountain

To the north sits the renovated Plaza Theatre, and down the street you’ll find the Grand Twin theaters, with a bevy of antique shops and small businesses sandwiched in between. Paris is also the final resting place of John Chisum, a cattle baron during the late 19th century. His name had become familiar to me during the time I lived in southeastern New Mexico, and the name of West Chisum Street in Artesia finally made a connection with its roots.

Grand theater

We also spent some time on the outskirts of town looking at the unique headstones in the Evergreen cemetery, one of which is a 12-foot statue of Jesus with cowboy boots. Yup, we must be in Texas.

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