Spring does always arrive early in Paris, it seems. It disapears for a while in May or June, but usually in March or April in Paris we get a a burst of sun and brightness and all the trees go, « aaaaaaahhh! » and the Parisians flock to the café terraces and Paris’ gardens where cherry blossoms beckon us to take off our scarves and turn our faces to the warm light that bathes the city in a blissful glow. Yeah, the first signs of Spring in Paris make you feel giddy and poetic, and life is full of possibility.
Spring cherry blossoms in Paris
I couldn’t resist a stroll through the Square des Batignolles on one of those precious days… In my 9th month pf pregnancy, waiting for Bébé Chéri to arrive, I was filled with a sense of absolute perfection.
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Last Summer, Chéri and I had drinks on the terrace of Le Dépanneur, in the trendy area of the 9th just below Pigalle (refered to as SoPi). Across the street on the little tiny plaza on the corner of rue Douai (what Jimmy Buffet refers to as « rue de la guitare ») there was the corner boutique on the ground floor that was completely boarded up. It’s a charming little spot, and I thought, how great it would be if an establishment opened up there and took advantage of the prime real-estate for a great terrace. Well, guess who did just that?!? Le Dépanneur! So they now have both corners on a really great little square. This is going to be the Summer hot spot in a few months!
Image Source : Le Dépanneur Pigalle facebook page
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In my hometown in New England, we always had an event in mid-December called the « Christmas Stroll ». It was a a time for the residents and those of neighboring towns to come and enjoy together the Christmas ambiance that was always so well exemplified in the decorations. The town (a village really) had a tiny little central « place » that housed the tall Christmas tree and the crèche de noël, and all the black and white façades of the boutiques on Main Street were spruced up with fir greens and red bows with pretty little white lights to accentuate the falling snowflakes that always arrived just in time. The shops opened late for the Christmas stroll and served or sold their best and most festive holiday wares. It was a place to run into your old school teacher, or meet up with past classmates, see old high school pals or towns people that you know and recognize for years.
While that may never happen to me ever in Paris, I did get to experience a different, perhaps more glamorous type of Christmas stroll and although there was no small town charm or reminiscing, there was plenty of holiday cheer and happiness shared between me and a darling friend who was enjoying it all for the first time. I couldn’t have felt a warmer Christmas glow if I had been at the foot of that New England village Christmas Christmas tree. Read more →
As I was running some errands the other day around Montmartre, I stumbled upon the most darling little cobblestone street that I had never seen before.
Set right off of the boulevard de Clichy, it is an absolute haven of calm and charm nestled amongst the chaos and bustling of Pigalle and the red light district. I was enchanted immediately and took a few minutes to stroll up it, take some photos and imagine what might have hapened here over a hundred years ago or more…
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So the month of July in Paris was a-wash with warmpth and sunlight, but sadly I didn’t get to go out and enjoy it that much since I was dealing with this issue. And as soon as that cast came off, the weather went sour. August has been a total disappointment weather-wise. But the very occasional day of cooperative weather, we managed to get out and take full advantage. We were able to discover (or at least try to) a few out-of-the-way green spots in the city that are practically secret. Well, almost…
We headed to the Musée de la Vie Romantique, which has free entry for its permanent collection. A lovely house full of George Sand’s paraphernalia, and things like a sculpture of Chopin’s hands. But before skimming through the museum, I suggest grabbing a chance to enjoy the tea garden. Read more →
THIS is the place to go for a breath of fresh(er) air in Paris. A long stretch of asphalt offers Parisians a bike path dotted with a myriad of other things to do and see. There is even a Vélib station in the middle ofthe quai. There are places for kids to play (with adult supervision provided by you), there are tables for checkers and other boards games integrated so you can pick-nick and play at the same time, there are plenty of plants and foliage and flowers to make your stroll pretty, there are cafés, and benches and views… and there is space, room, a rare luxury in Paris. Read more →
I literally wrote « Sprintemps » in the title before correcting it to « Springtime ». I think my franglais has gotten a little out of hand. But that isn’t the subject of this post. Or is it….
If you listen closely in the beginning of Springtime in Paris, you can almost hear a collective sigh.. Aaaaaaaaahhhh! The light comes back and we all feel a release of pressure as we emerge from under the gray skies.
I wanted to illustrate Paris this Spring; not that it needs doing… for Pete’s sake, every blogger and their brother is posting pretty blossoming photos of Paris these days. But really, it cannot be helped when you live here. This isn’t to say that living in Paris is all cherry blossoms and pink sunsets…far from it. Paris also includes in the package : tired legs, aching feet, angry fellow metro passengers, (enjoy this funny parody about an « incident » on the metro), pushy people on buses, pushy people everywhere, umbrella wars when in rains, unreliable transportation, interminable lines at any public service office, insurmountable amounts of paperwork in order to get anything done… oh people, I could go on for at least 100 more of these… but that’s not the purpose of this blog post. Or is it…. Read more →
The Paris love-locks… I know, I know. We have all discussed, photographed and blogged the death out of these little objects… They have a turbulent existence it would seem… All these declarations of passion, desire and commitment have become cumbersome to the city of Paris, but no one wants to discard them.
In a recent article in the Marianne magazine (a leftist French publication) there was an article about these locks and the weight they pull (and place) in the very heart of the city of lights, the city of love.
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Again out on an evening stroll along the Seine, I once more found myself armed with my camera, and free to capture as many shots as my greedy eyes so desired. I have said it before, and I’ll repeat myself over and over, Paris is beautiful during the day (especially when the sun is going at full blast), but NOTHING beats Paris at night. A special glow falls upon her just after the sunset.
I frame all my shots, and take them WITHOUT a tripod. I don’t even edit them, except for a tiny bit of cropping occasionally if my framing is a tad off, but that’s it. I like to keep my images pretty « au naturel » and not doctor them up with a lot of image editing. (Plus that’s time consuming), so I take great care in each shot, I do a lot of breath holding to keep my camera from jiggling when I press the trigger, and I use the functions on my camera do add or subtract light.
Taking pictures (although I do NOT claim to be that good) and my subject (Paris) are two of my favorite things, and when I put them together, I feel giddy with delight. I hope you like them… Read more →