How I Saw Paris This Week (Part Eighteen) + News!

And I’m back! Phew, sometimes life throws so many things your way it’s almost as if the universe doesn’t see blogging as a priority. Go figure.

But after a whirlwind of house renovations and giving tours of Paris every day, I’m suiting up and getting back in the social sharing ring – ready to throw a heavy dose of photos your way.

Before we get to that I’ve got to share some exciting news! You may remember my guest spot on the Earful Tower Paris Podcast a while back. I’m happy to report I’ll be a recurring feature this season, where I close out each episode with a favorite historical Paris anecdote. So if you want to hear me in my element, getting excited about Paris like I do when I give my walking tours, you’ll want to check it out.

The host, Oliver Gee, is already well underway with Season Two and you can start catching up on recent episodes here. I hope you tune in, show Oliver some love, and subscribe to the Earful Tower.

Now onto this healthy (and long overdue) set of Paris pics!

Rue de Buci (6th arr) is always a nice little walk to take, and just off of it on Rue Grégoire de Tours is this cute magazine shop. Sometimes a color alone is enough to get me excited about a photo, and I feel like I could stare at this yellow for ages.
When randomly I passed through the open doors of Saint Merri church (4th arr), I found an unexpected treat – some workers were sanding the stone floors and throwing up gloriously moody clouds of dust. Eventually I thought to pop my Vélib rental into the shot for some scale and a human element. I‘ve been told it was one of my most successful shots of the summer and I like quite a bit.
On vacation we spent a daytrip exploring Bordeaux. This is the city’s opera house. We didn’t have time for much more than a view of the entrance but that was enough to get an idea of the grandure. Next time I’d love to tour my way through this building.
Back to Paris, this is in the Marais (4th arr) at #111 Rue Saint Antoine. Don’t tell too many people about this one – it’s my secret way to get away from the crowds at Saint Paul metro station!
This little guy is hiding in La Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes (5th arr). When I originally posted this I asked if it was spooky or cute. Responses were pretty 50/50. Feel free to weigh in down in the comments section!
This is Saint Merri Church again (4th arr), in a grand chapel that is highly underrated. Absolutely gorgeous when the light spills in. How are there still so many secrets to be found after living here full time for 7+ years? I don’t know, but I’m grateful for the endless discoveries.
Paris photos are kind of like listening to music – every now and then you gotta go back to a feel-good classic.  Here at Place de la Concorde (8th arr) we can see the Eiffel tower, an Egyptian obelisk from 3300 years ago,  a beautiful green street lamp from the Restoration period, and one of the stone statues that in this square represent the major cities of France.
Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe (4th arr) is usually full of interesting handmade items in its window displays.  Here I was dreaming of adding those old-style wax seals to my envelopes. Not that I use envelopes anymore…
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Coming up out of Châtelet les Halles metro station (1st arr). This train hub is the largest underground station in the world, so I’m always happy to see some light at the end of the tunnel when I finally get out of there!
I can’t say enough good things about the garden at the Museum of Montmartre (18th arr).  Even if you don’t go inside the buildings themselves, for just 4€ you can enjoy the gardens which include quiet tables, flowers, a fountain, and even a forested area where you feel completely transported away from a major city.  Put it on your list and get away from those crowds at Sacré-Coeur!
It’s always time for a decorative door knob, as they say.  Saw this one somewhere in the 6th arrondissement.  As I said earlier on social media: Harry Potter wishes he had this level of decoration in his world! My walking tour of Saint Germain des Prés is full of cool stuff like this.
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Another secret space you don’t want to miss is Square Èdouard VII (9th arr). What a gem! I almost never see tourists in this spot. When I see squares like this I think if the same thing existed in a small village somewhere it would probably be the highlight of the city center. But Paris has so many grand spaces that an area like this tends to get overshadowed. Spoilt for choice, as my British pals would say.
My camera snapped this one by accident while I was tooling around getting to the next address. But I like it, and probably couldn’t have improved the composition if I’d tried.
Rue du Prévot (4th arr) is a great example of Baron Haussmann running out of time before he could obliterate all of medieval Paris. Phew! That groove down the center, as some of you may know, represents the open air sewer of the Middle Ages. I think Oliver Gee of the Earful Tower Podcast might appreciate a more thorough exploration of that story…maybe I’ll cue that up for a future episode. :)
Clearly not the City of Light! All self-respecting Parisians take off on August, and this was our vacation spot along the western coast of France. The wind was fierce and the water ice cold, but you wouldn’t know it looking at this view. By the way this location had almost zero internet access – one reason why the French Frye activity was subdued last month! But sometimes you gotta disconnect for real.
One of the dreams of Paris is to find yourself suddenly in the middle of a cinematic moment, like you’ve been plucked from your era and spliced into some old celluloid from a film français. That’s what this photo is for me. It’s in the 18th arrondissement looking down from the stairs of Lamarck-Caulaincourt metro station. Hope this guy didn’t mind. :)
Longtime followers won’t be surprised to hear me extolling the virtues again of Soul Kitchen (18th arr). It’s pretty much the most dependably great meal you’ll find anywhere near Sacré-Coeur (along with Hardware Society). Soul Kitchen is local and hip and rustic, and so much healthier than anything in the “tourst zone”. This was some sort of pea soup with Thai leanings such as peanuts and cilantro. Those who take my walking tour of Montmartre will certainly be pointed in this direction afterwards!
They say there are only three true half-timbered homes visible in Paris today. This is one of them. Believed to be from the 15th century, it adds a movie set-grade perfection to Rue Grenier sur l’Eau (4th arr). It’s a youth hostel nowadays. For more details of this area you can join me for a tour of the Marais district – one of my favorites!
This is a fun memory of the Vincennes Zoo. I pushed the colors on this one to enhance the red/green thing and I like it a lot. On the other hand it’s pretty hard to take a bad picture of a flamingo. :)
Downton Abbey anyone? (Damn I miss that show). This antique shop Le Fil de Soie is a tiny quiet masterpiece. Feel free to pop inside (with a polite ”bonjour” of course) and browse around. You’ll find it at 37 Rue de Vaugirard, 6th arrondissement.
This is the Buttes Chaumont (19th arr). A hilly, rolling landscape where the locals frolick…or in this case, meditate.
Place Gambetta (20th arr) and its City Hall building on my way to Père Lachaise Cemetery. I liked the composition here.

Phew, ok we’ve done it!  That was a hefty dose of Paris. Thanks for taking the time and I’ll catch you guys on the next one.

Remember to hit me up for a tour of my city by clicking here, and don’t forget to follow the Earful Tower Paris Podcast to hear me each week telling a strange tale from Paris’ past.

Have a great day!

22 comments

  • I’ve been here for two weeks and have discovered you and the Earful Tower guys… really wonderful. My Paris list just keeps getting longer and longer. Merci beaucoup.

    • Thanks so much Patricia! Oh the Paris list will become endless if you let it. :) I’m convinced I need at least a few lifetimes to get through it all. Hope you continue to have a lovely time!

  • I love all of these! I recently discovered Square Èdouard VII with my boss and colleagues … we had the biggest pizzas in Paris there (I’m convinced that this doesn’t even have to be verified!). I immediately said I needed to go back to explore more on my own. So charming!

    I also love your store window shots. There are so many gems in window displays here! I can never shoot them though because of glare… are you shooting on your iPhone? If so, do you have a polarizing filter you use/recommend? I need to pick one up.

    Keep it up! :)

  • Another great lineup of photos!!…thanks so much…and I miss Downton Abbey too!!!…I must visit the museum of Montmartre next year!!….well done again!!’

  • Love the variety of these pix! I have several shots of amazing door hardware from the 7me arr which I took on my last trip. Why don’t we have as much personality on our personal portals at home?

    • Hey, thanks for the nice comment! I often ask myself why we don’t add those beautiful touches to our surroundings today, when clearly there’s something innate in us that seeks them out (why else would people flock to Europe every day?). Is it because artisanal details like that are too expensive today? Or that we don’t hold art in the same esteem as long ago? It’s an interesting debate.

  • Thank you for your most recent photo blog. I very much enjoy your pieces and share them with other lovers of Paris, here in Portland, Oregon. I do a good deal of nature photography and am wondering how you achieve the patina of your photos, in your photographic work flow.

    Thank you!

    Steve Morgan
    Portland, Oregon
    ceanothus1@comcast.net

    • Hi Steve, thanks for your kind words. I’m glad to have you following along and sharing with others! My workflow is generally shooting RAW photos on my iPhone 7s Plus, directly into the Adobe Lightroom app. As a tour guide who’s on the streets all day I need the most portable “rig” possible. Lightroom is where I do most of my editing and correcting. Generally I suppose I prefer a lower exposure, slightly desaturated and vignetted look. I use curves often to reduce the intensity of blacks and to give a faded look. A lot of trial and error, and looking for inspiration from other photographers out there! In general, if I can trick anyone’s eye into thinking I’m not using a cell phone camera then I’ve done my job. :) Other apps I might use for filters are VSCO and Darkroom. Hope that helps – happy shooting!

  • My granddaughter telephoned her news to me a week ago following a trip to Paris with her now husband-to-be. He had popped the question (having secretly sought permission from her father first) and was accepted; she now wears his personally designed ring. How’s that for romantic Paris?

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