How I Saw Paris This Week (Part Two)

It’s Wednesday! Keeping our new tradition alive, here’s a recap of the Paris I shared over the past week. For the previous installment you can click here.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your feedback so far, so feel free to drop me a line here in the comments, on Facebook, or on Instagram. Let me know what part of Paris you’re dreaming of!

Wildlife isn’t something you normally think of when you talk about Paris. That’s why I love descending the stairs of Ile Saint Louis and watching the geese interact with the Seine. I sense a bit of drama when I look at this photo, as if this bird is a courageous pioneer preparing to brave the unknown. Considering what might lay at the bottom of this river, perhaps that’s an accurate assessment.
I was once shocked to hear a friend say she would never go to the Islamic section of the Louvre because of the radical nature of the religion. What a shame. I find some of the most breathtaking patterns in this part of the museum. After all, as far as society members go how often are the artists the violent ones? Every culture has its dreamers.
A detail from a door in the Louvre. Before the medical community adopted the symbol of the staff and intertwined snakes, it was a symbol for the god Mercury. Seeing how the French monarchs were obsessed with evoking the Roman Empire for political gain, decoration like this makes perfect sense.
Keeping the iron theme going, this is from yesterday’s blog post about the doors of Notre Dame. There’s a whole universe of embedded creatures when you get up close. Stunning. The photo itself has some contrasts of light/dark and warm/cool that I like. I still sometimes fall into the trap of taking zoomed-out tourist shots. But it’s so rewarding to get close and represent the intimacy of Paris…despite the 10,000 people that might surround you. Isn’t it amazing that we flock to the most tourist-packed city in the world in search of quiet poetic moments? But Paris delivers, somehow.
Look at the divots in the pavement – that’s a lot of chairs and a lot of coffees sipped. This is from La Mascotte in Montmartre. I’d call these “Marie Antoinette colors”, and I love ’em. Haven’t yet eaten here but Google reviews it at 4.3 stars out of 5. Gotta put it on my list.
More café terrace love, this time in the 1st arrondissement at Le Spicy Home Paris. I got a few odd looks from the patrons inside; perhaps I lingered a bit too long. Shabby-chic décor like this used to be found just in the outer neighborhoods of Paris, but now the aesthetic can be found everywhere. The hipsters have officially taken over. Maybe I’m one of them…
Two blocks away from those tables you’ll find a place called Workshop (3rd arr). What a nice discovery this was. It’s ultra local and very laid back. Perfect for a quiet chat with friends or a laptop work session. This is the new generation of Paris café, and that sofa is still calling out to me.
I passed this gourmet grocery store on my way to the Arts et Métiers Institute (3rd arr). The name of these nuts, “Vatel Mix”, references the famous chef/caterer who committed suicide when a seafood shipment didn’t arrive in time for the king’s banquet. Yes, the French are serious about cuisine.
Once I arrived at Arts et Métiers this staircase caught my eye. There are different qualities of light cast on the foreground and background which I like. Anyone looking for a unique and different museum should check this place out. It specializes in historic machines and contraptions. Very visual for younger travelers as well.
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A detail of the same staircase at Arts et Métiers.
Roger Le Grenouille is a French bistro in the 6th arrondissement. The adjacent courtyard is always open and I often pop in. These little guys remind me of the Frog and Toad books I read as a kid. Picasso once had a studio down the street and I wonder if he ever stopped by for frogs legs.
For all of you door lovers out there. This was found in the 6th arrondissement on Rue des Grands Augustins. I like how you can see the discoloration of thousands of hands pushing their way inside. I love that kind of visible history. Ok that’s it for today, stay tuned next Wednesday for another set of photos!
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18 comments

  • Your photos are so crystal clear, I feel as if I’m there. Really enjoy them. Merci

  • I see your photos getting better and better! I am a photography enthusiast, as well, and I appreciate your composition and overall choice of subject. Have you been consciously trying to get better or is it merely a result of practice and purpose? Anyway, thanks so much for your beautiful photos.

    • Hi Susie, thanks for noticing! I have definitely been consciously working on my photography. So it’s a pleasure to hear that someone is noticing. 🙂 Can’t wait to share another batch with you next week!

  • I’m dreaming about seeing all of Paris as I’ve never been, believe it or not. I’m horrified by your friend’s comment; it’s not the religion that’s radical, it’s some of the people who follow it and twist it to support their radical views and actions. Sad.

  • Another splendid set of photos representing the character of this magical city. The textures and locales are delicious. I think the photo of the swan is quite unique. He/she does seem to be gathering courage! Also pleased to see the courtyard at Roger le Grenouille. I stayed in an AirBnB there about two years ago that was a small studio with 12 foot windows giving out to another interior courtyard with leafy trees and birdsong. If we had 10 lifetimes, we would probably not be able to discover all the secret charms of Paris.

    • Your 10 lifetimes comment is certainly true Ellen. During tours my clients always say they wish they had more time in Paris. I tell them that even after 7 years here if I had to leave tomorrow, I’d say the same thing!

  • What a wonderful blog. I look forward to every post, to see what new treasures you have seen. Thank you for sharing wonderful Paris with us.

  • I love your photos. You capture the beauty found in the small hidden details. Your photos reflect all the things I love about Paris.

  • You prove that attention to detail brings its own rewards; such hidden delicacies cannot be seen at a glance, but only by looking long and hard. The art of seeing – and appreciating the details that only the craftsman knows are there, that’s really using your eyes. Thank you for sharing those precious insights.

    • Thanks Maureen, I’m very fortunate to have had years to admire the city, meaning I can dig deeper than I ever could as a visitor. One reason I keep this blog going is to ensure that I don’t take that for granted! Thank you for sharing my content.

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