What else could I share with you this day? My hope for all of you is that you have a year filled to the brim with love, peace, contentment and ......champagne. Oh and many trips to Paris in 2011 for all of us.
Entrée des Fournisseurs, in the Marais, specializes in buttons, ribbons, yarn, felt and trims, and much more. I snapped this display shortly before I was told not to take photographs. Pardonnez-moi, Madame!
This is a very special one that I've kept since last June. TheMaraisdistrict of Paris is known for it's cultural diversity, especially their Jewish population. I happened upon this shop late one afternoon on my very last day in Paris. I watched this gentleman as he went about his work. I knew the afternoon sun was too intense but I shot and shot, walked down the block and came back and tried some more. One of my favorite portraits. Maybe this trip I'll pay another visit and the light will be better. Regardless I feel very lucky to have found him.
Late one afternoon as I snooped around the Village St. Paul, they were bringing the chairs in for the evening. I snapped these delightfully colored chairs right before they were stacked away for the night.
Last summer ma chère amie Mary took me on a wild goose chase ( I have no idea what THAT would be in French) to the 20 eme for the Grand Brocante. As I've shared previously, it left a lot to be desired but what it lacked in fine French antiques to be had for a song, it made up for with delightful people that we met along the way. This young boy was selling hot mint tea and baklava. Mary and I of course had to have some as he was just a delight as you can see here.
Today I take a break from the holiday photos on my Birmingham blog and thought I'd do so here as well. I found this little café at the Village St. Paul last January and again this past June. Vive la différence!
Last year ( and I'm assuming this year as well), the city of Paris created a giant ice rink in front of the gorgeous Hôtel de Ville ( Paris City Hall). This is a poorly composed photograph but I thought you might enjoy it as I did when, on closer inspection, I noticed the petit garçon in the right corner who was struggling to keep from falling. I wish I'd noticed him at the time and I'd have stayed with the little fellow as he learned to skate!
Oh I've brought you here to the Église Saint- Séverinwith me many times. I love, love this beautiful church. Today one more little alcove with a side door that caught my eye. As I reviewed this photograph I marveled at the gorgeous mural and the details of the doors, the sloping floor with the light under the door, and the time worn plaster work. I'm grateful for my photographs, for often they allow me to spend more "time" in places that too often I must hurry through.
Last June, Place de la Bastillewas my "hood"! I snapped this shot after coming up from the Métro one afternoon. I think I need to pay homage to my dear Paris ami, Laurent. I'm pretty sure he took a similar and much better photograph earlier on his blog,Daily Photo in Paris. Laurent, you're my inspiration!
One of the things I love most about this blog is that often I receive personal emails from readers. Many times they are headed off to Paris for a few days or longer and ask me to recommend places I especially love. I'm very flattered that anyone would ask my opinion, as I feel I'm still scratching the surface in Paris myself. That said, I always suggest the Musée Rodin. What an exquisite, small, intimate museum this is and one than can be done, regardless of the time you have in Paris. I just love the parquet floors that squeak when you walk across them and the gorgeous old mirrors and chandeliers and the old shuttered windows that open to the manicured gardens below. The works of Rodin and Claudel are showcased so beautifully here. In addition, you will find the work of other artists that were in Rodin's private collection. Don't miss it in summer or winter.
Well would you look....here we are at the Palais Royal again!! Last year these wonderful evergreens were lined up along the arcade at the Palais Royal and at the Café le Nemourson Place Colette. I don't know about you, but after all the glitz and glitter everywhere else in Paris ( and the U.S.), I found these simple green trees a nice respite. A bit too chilly to sit outside, but I plan to have a sip here in janvier.
Pardon, but I have a few more photos from last January to share. As most of you know, it was such a magical time for me to be in Paris. That wonderful first day to awake to la neige!! Even better to experience it in one of my most favorite spots......jardin du Palais Royal. J'adore!!!
Last January, as Mary and I walked through the new fallen snow to Place des Vosges. Ma Bourgogne had stacked up the chaises and outside seating was put on hold, even with the heaters. This sign made me smile. I don't think even Berthillon's delightful glaces et sorbets were selling that day.
Perhaps this needs some explanation. Last January's snowfall found us strolling the streets of the Marais. We went right to *Merciand found this charming café on the lower level. This employee was chatting on her phone while overlooking the snow covered courtyard garden.
* see header photo
The windows and stores are a delight at Christmas but don't forget to look up! So many of the streets are strung with the most amazing lights. Here on rue Montorgueil is a wonderful example. If memory serves, we were headed straight for Stohrer and a gallette des roi!
The white stuff is flying in Paris according to my Paris amis as well as our dear Genie from Paris and Beyond. As she and I chatted on Saturday evening, it brought back wonderful memories of that magical snowfall last January. That first morning in Paris, Mary and I walked through the Palais Royal gardens on our way to the métro. This particular stop is one of my favorites. As I descended the steps, I took two quick shots of the marvelous Kiosque des Noctambules by Jean-Michel Othaniel. If you look closely you can see the snowcapped glass balls and tree branches. la neige á Paris est magique!
The Basilique duSacré-Coeur is one of my favorite places to visit. Sitting at the highest point in Paris, it allows the most marvelous panoramic view of the whole city. This Montmartre neighborhood is famous for the artist trade which thankfully is not as frantic in midwinter! Here, to the left is a lovely church that I regret I can't name, but stop in and visit if you're in the neighborhood. I found this photo as a happy surprise recently and realized that it seemed a collage of what makes Montmartre so special. The dome, the church, an artist or two and of course the cobblestone streets. C'est Montmartre!
My Paris calendars 2011 are now 50% off on Zazzle here!
Montmartre is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Paris. Oh yes, it can be very touristy, but take the rue less traveled and you'll love it. I thought we'd just spend the weekend here. Hope that's alright with you!
Today my dear friend Genie and daughter Holly touch their toes on Paris soil for their annual trip to the city they (we) so love. I found a photo I took about this time in 2008. Genie and Holly, we all await photos and tales galore of glorious days and evenings spent wandering the streets of Paris meeting new and old friends. You can follow Genie on her terrific Paris blog, Paris and Beyond.
Sometimes my friends are kind enough to point out a potential photo op that I appear to overlook. This one I'd have missed if Peter hadn't alerted me. I fumbled with my camera and barely got off two shots before the light turned and she walked away. LOVE her leggings and that cute kick in her step.
Merci M. Olson!
Our Laurent atDaily Photo in Paris left a comment that yesterday Paris had its first snowfall. I was surprised to learn that snow in Paris is rather rare, so imagine my delight when we arrived last January to find the remains of a previous snowfall on the city. Most of you will remember that during the night the "Paris Photography Gods" made me very happy. We awoke the next morning to a glorious snowfall. This photo was taken on the day of our arrival. It was very, very cold that day. Did we stop racing around the city? Of course not! The adrenalin rush cannot be denied!!!
Maybe you see this as just a jumble of chairs. To me, it represents the delightful way that Parisians gather with friends. Sometimes it's in the grass seated in a circle as they share a picnic lunch. More often, I think it's in parks such as Luxembourg, the Palais Royal, or here at Tuileries. The chairs are gathered in a circle for conversation and perhaps a glass of wine or champagne. Paris, j'adore!
Galerie Vivienne is a beautiful place to shop anytime, but at Christmas, it's lit to the hilt! This covered passageway has a wonderful assortment of shops and places to dine or have a cup of thé. Located near the Palais Royal, you may take the Palais-Royal or Bourse métro.
As the Christmas season begins, Paris does what she does best, dresses to the hilt! First she decks out the store windows in every imaginable delight, then she drapes herself with a zillion strings of lights . As if that weren't enough, up goes the grand roue at Place de la Concorde. I will share more photos in the weeks to come. For now, try to imagine taking a ride and seeing Paris from above. Some of you might ask if I've had the pleasure. Well non, non et non. There have been those that have tried to persuade me. Je n'ai pas le courage!
Well Genie at Paris and Beyond started it here. Then Laurent over at Daily Photo in Paris turned on the lights here. Today, I can't compete with their gorgeous perspective, but I thought I'd show you what it's like at the Place de la Concorde after dark from another direction. Even at night, the traffic is still whizzing by, but I love it. The obelisk, the fountain, the lights... it's magical. Oh and that's the Hôtel de Crillonto the left. I wouldn't mind a glass of champagne there one day........
Oh I've been holding onto these photographs since last June. It's time to start sharing. Meet Alexis. You know the name because we've window shopped hereand here. I dropped by several times, but the shop was always closed. In June, while wandering around the Place des Vosges, I found his shop and voilà, the door was open! Alexis is a dress designer, an "over the top" dress designer. He was polite but more or less went about his (cell phone) business, after he agreed to let me photograph his shop. Later that week, while JB, Peter and Owen were getting to know the music store owner across the street, Mary and I slipped in to say, "Bonjour" to Alexis. More to come.
I announced last week that I would suspend posting on the weekends, but I've decided to go for it. I still have many to share, and Mary and I will be hopefully be returning to Paris en janvier!!
Those of you that have followed this blog for quite a while will remember my delightful adventures with the pétanque playersat Luxembourg Gardens, the summer of 2009. The foursome that befriended me couldn't have been more entertaining and accommodating. They took such pains to show me how the game was played and all about the scoring ( and the conversations regarding the scoring!). At one point I was instructed to go down to another court for a translation. A wonderful Paris memory. Today, the all important boule!
Today's photograph was chosen to introduce a wonderful new book to you my dear readers. The cover of FrenchEssence, features a similar door and a bicycle! This is Vicki Archer's second book, and it debuted in the US this month. Mine arrived on Saturday, and I've been curled up with it ever since. This is Vicki's second collaboration with the talented Paris photographer, Carla Coulson. These two make a magical team and their first book, My French Life, is one of my very favorites.
I am a former elementary school teacher, a full-time photographer, lover of all things French ( whose French is slowly improving), obsessive Paris traveler, enthusiastic church and community volunteer, and grandmother to 5 delightful grandchildren.
I fell in love with Paris in March 2007. It was as the French say, le coup de foudre : love at first sight. As a result of that trip, my photography took another direction. Since that time I have pursued a career of sorts in photography and dreamed of returning to the City of Light. November 2008 found me strolling the streets of Paris once again. My first visit I was so overwhelmed with the incredible beauty of the city, I photographed it as a "tourist". In 2008 I returned and I looked at the city with more of a photographer's eye. I wanted to capture the unique, the small details, and oh yes - the people! This blog was started as a photo diary of that trip, but I have been most fortunate to return to the city j'adore 13 times since. Each time I leave, I wipe a tear and start planning my list for the next trip. Paris may well be a moveable feast, but I think it's best savored in person! Someone told me that once you have been to Paris, you will leave a piece of your heart. I left mine right there, but I brought home some wonderful memories. It is my pleasure to share them with you.