I have a thing for courtyards. Often when you stroll through Paris you catch a quick glimpse of a magnificent cour when someone is slipping in through their large portail heading home. Often it is like getting a peek at a secret garden, and you run over to try to peer into the tiny dark stained windows or through thick iron bars that protect these places from outsiders.
Yesterday while strolling through the 9th arrondissement, I ran across a building with the entrance left wide open as there was a neighborhood garage sale (un vide-grenier) going on just outside of it. I asked the monsieur who was more or less guarding the entry of I could go in and have a peek. I believe he assumed I did not pose any type of threat as my main interest was the beautifully carved ceiling that I was ooo-ing and aaah-ing over, while my camera went click, click, click. I moved in further to snap some shots of the well-organized, charming and beautifully maintained courtyard.