In Illustrations, The Big Apple vs. the City of Lights

Vahram Muratyan creates delightful illustrations, depicting New York and Paris' most notable symbols side-by-side.

Sometimes they’re more alike than you think, Paris and New York. You just have to be looking, and it helps if you live in both cities, constantly, as does Vahram Muratyan. Growing up in Paris, Muratyan always dreamed of living in New York. These days his work keeps him straddling both the City of Lights and the Big Apple.


In Paris, he uses le metro to visit the Pompidou; in New York, he takes the subway to the Guggenheim. In Paris, he snacks on a macaron while walking up the Champs-Élysées. In New York he munches on a cupcake while strolling down Fifth Avenue. In Paris he grabs a baguette at a boulangerie. In New York he chooses a bagel and a coffee at the deli.


Muratyan refined these juxtaposed moments and translated their essence into charming, minimal illustrations.

His side-by-side depictions of the city’s most notable symbols, originally seen at the blog Paris vs. New York, have now been brought to life in the most appropriate form, the postcard, so that any lover of the two great cities, including Muratyan, can send the cities’ icons to friends across the Atlantic—or turn them into artwork or gifts. There’s a book, too.


For real-time comparisons, Muratyan also tweets and Instagrams his favorite moments in the two cities.

Get a set of postcards online at Randomhouse, and have your own moment in Paris and New York.

Mercedes Kraus is a writer and editor of architecture, urbanism, and design. She co-founded and publishes @womanzine and is an alumnus of Van Alen Institute and the Institute for Urban Design. She tweets @merxaus.

Categories: Cities, Design