France Post 2 - Classic Paris: A Personal View

So many people have photographed and written about Paris that I really hesitated to do so. But how could I be in one the world’s greatest cities and not take photographs? So, I did.

People photography was hard to get so I ended up mostly pointing my camera at the classic and beautiful buildings of Paris. Small ones . . .

La Maison Rose: a famous restaurant and gathering place for artists for over a century in Montmarte, Paris

and large ones.  

The Louvre and detail from the inverted pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre

Most buildings are classical in style. However, a few are modern, although many Parisians are not particularly fond of modern buildings.

Centre Georges Pompidou

I saw many classical-style buildings as I walked along the Seine. The river walks are people-friendly and well-used. They were beautiful, even in the July heat.

I was told that buildings in Paris have a 5-story limit so there are no skyscrapers – except for one that got built and made people realize they did not want that kind of skyline for their city. You can see an amazing lineup of Paris’s classical, beautiful buildings from this river walk!

Art lives on the streets, too, in Paris - not just in museums. 

I did wonder about this sight on the river walk. The walkway is very well-kept, so why was this bicycle here? This is France, perhaps it was a modern art piece?

We took a walking tour in Montmartre. Montmartre is built on a hill and it was a long way up in the July heat. It is a beautiful part of the city with its own feel and an artistic history. Artists, musicians, writers, and intellectuals were drawn to this bohemian neighborhood in the late 1800s.

After making it up this exhausting set of stairs, we passed a movie set. It turns out they were filming a segment for Emily in Paris. The area was swarming with people and video equipment but bystanders were not allowed to take any photos or I certainly would have included one here!

The sign above this café lists some of the greats who used to hang out here. They included Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Toulouse-Latrec, Cezanne and more. 

Opportunities to photograph people being people, my favorite subjects, were rare.

People-watching in line at the Museé d'Orsay

I couldn’t resist a mini-video of a street scene with a musician playing Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely

And then the food. This is France, where food is serious business. Mustard is apparently serious business, as well. There was a shortage of this essential ingredient in French cooking while I was there, and the French were worked up over it.

A delicious, tender steak with mustard sauce.

My favorite meal in Paris was actually two appetizers. They were light and served cold - perfect fare for a 100º day. There was a cold pea soup with serrano ham, followed by baked, then chilled, herbed and tender eggplant slices filled with burrata cheese. 

Food for taking out was also superb!

Quiche Lorraine with a tasty salad of veggies, avocado, and falafel.

The BNB unit where I stayed was small and comfortable. It was located in a solid, old building with an air of elegance. Tall, heavy doors clanged shut behind as one walked up the marble staircase. The unit had thick walls, tall windows, and high ceilings. I truly felt I was in Paris. This was a small but classy and comfortable space where I got to recharge every day before venturing out to the magnificent places of Paris.

Next month's post is also about Paris: Famous Places, Art, and Gold.