We spent today’s afternoon in the Paper District, enjoying lunch in an old warehouse that had once been used as a paper factory. Although I was intrigued by the way fifty mini restaurants could be squeezed into one space, it was actually the name that interested me the most. It made me think about a book I recently read – Paper Towns by John Green.
A paper town refers to a city that doesn’t really exist. Cartographers will put fake cities onto their maps so that if they see those same imaginary places on other maps, they know that their work has been copied. I love to think of the world and the places that I visit as paper towns. Not because their locations have been falsified on a map, but because they hold a charm that is only visible through the imagination. No map, photo, video, or book can accurately depict the true essence of these places, and so it is up to us to personally visit them and establish their existence for ourselves.
While we travel through Scandinavia, it’s interesting to see how everyone has a different opinion on their favorite experience in their favorite city. There is no objective view on any one place. They are all just paper towns, until we have the opportunity to bring them to life.