A Return to Paris


"How satisfying to the human soul it is to create a beloved memory with someone you love."

- Shari Bradbury


When we began this trip, I wasn't sure if we would go to Paris.  I had visited Paris in 2013 to attend a photography workshop, and while I enjoyed the workshop very much, Paris itself left me uninspired. There were things I enjoyed seeing, but there was a numbness overshadowing it.  I didn't even feel very motivated to take many photographs.  That is saying something!  My son said he didn't feel a burning desire to go to Paris, he could go or not go and be okay, so I was undecided about it for awhile.  

What won me over was one strong desire, to show my son the Eiffel Tower at night.  It is something one must see during their lifetime.  In the daytime?  Meh, it's not super impressive or beautiful.  At night?  It's magic.  Both the blue hour and total darkness are amazing times to stand before it, particularly from the Trocadero.  I made a reservation for one week so that I could show my son some of the things I had seen in 2013 and enjoy a few new experiences with him.  

I didn't know how Paris would feel the second time around, but since Italy was pretty much the opposite experience this time from what I had in 2013, I knew it was possible Paris would feel differently than before.  That indeed turned out to be true.  Paris felt fantastic this time, and as soon as we arrived, I was excited to show things to my son.  I realized that the way Paris seemed to me all those years ago had more to do with me than with Paris.  I had just gotten out of a very difficult relationship at that time which, no doubt, affected me a great deal.  After returning to Paris with my son,  I am positive that had everything to do with my experience in 2013.  Paris was fabulous on this trip, and I felt like I was seeing it for the first time and feeling what so many people say they feel when in Paris.

 

We stood looking out at the Eiffel Tower for a long time, enjoying great conversation together and some silence.  There were plenty of tourists but not as many as I expected, and we easily walked up to an excellent viewpoint.  We spent the last 15-20 minutes experimenting and playing with my cameras.  We had a lot of fun trying different methods to get different effects, and the photo my son took is amazing.  He only made a couple with this method before perfecting it to the one below.  A Masterpiece.  He did a 360 with the camera on a slow shutter speed and had to time the rotation just right.  There is an angel in the middle to my eyes.  

Incredible, eh?  Leica M (240), 50mm 1.4

Incredible, eh?  Leica M (240), 50mm 1.4

 

 

This one is a favorite from my experimentations.

 

I also loved taking my son to L'As du Fallafel, the world famous falafel place in Le Marais; it is so good.  The lines are long but they go fast, and for 8 euros you're stuffed; great food at fabulous prices.  Can't beat that.  My son loved it, and we went there three times during our week stay.  What's funny is that there are four falafel places in that one alley and there is always a long line at L'As du Fallafel and no one, I'm not kidding, no one in line at the one across from them and hardly anyone at the others, which are about 100 meters away.  Yep.  They are that good.  Only when L'As du Fallafel had closed did I see a (very small) line of customers at the other businesses.

We took many walks along the Seine, visited the Louvre, and the Notre Dame (exterior only, neither of us had any desire to go into this particular place).  I also got to take him to one of my top two favorite cathedrals in the world, Saint Severin, partly because of the story behind it for me which I will write about in a later post.  We also took many night walks.  Paris, like many other cities, is at its most beautiful at night.

I am so glad we decided to go to Paris!!  

The view of Notre Dame from the bridge that was only a half block from our apartment.

The view of Notre Dame from the bridge that was only a half block from our apartment.

The carousel in front of the Hôtel de Ville.

The carousel in front of the Hôtel de Ville.

If you've ever wanted a close-up look at those statues at the tippy-top of Notre Dame, here you go!  

If you've ever wanted a close-up look at those statues at the tippy-top of Notre Dame, here you go!  


Shari Bradbury, quoted above, is a photographer, writer, and traveler who wants to be a successful, published author of the many books in her head and heart.  She would like each one of her books to be #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List longer than anyone else has ever been.  She dreams big.  

Yep,  it's me, putting my own quote on my blog, haha.  Before I publish each post, I research for what I feel is the perfect, or at least relevant, quote for what I have just written.  I didn't find anything this time that reflected what was in my heart so I decided to say it myself. 

The Lovely Village of Cochem, Germany

The Lovely Village of Cochem, Germany

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Cat-sitting in Amsterdam