Paris Je t’aime! I am not referring to the American hotel empire blond hair but to the French capital city. I have traveled my fair share of continents and walked miles across urban scenery by day and night, but nothing provides more emotions than Paris. I have been visiting Paris since I was a baby and as I grew up i spent most of my school holidays at my late grand mother’s in the 10th district near the Hôpital St Louis. In my late teenage years, I would roller-skate it in all directions. Some time to time, I happen to stay over for a few days and I always pack, my gear with me to capture something different. A few weeks ago I went back there and I was in the mood for some Brassai exposures of my own. I had asked my friend and colleague Marco Cucinato to accompany me and together we wandered the streets of Paname (Paris’ nickname since the beginning of XXth century).
We started from the cathedral Notre Dame:
We then crossed the Latin district ( Rue de la Huchette) and took the Metropolitan (the underground tube) to Anvers station at the bottom of Montmartre. I wanted to capture one of the stairs which climb the hill:
As we were about to wrap up, a small group of sympathetic youngsters approached us and asked if they could pose. I often get this kind of offers late in the evening when I wander the streets of a city and often the offer is more driven by the influence of alcohol than seriousness. That being said, I was in the mood for some fun and well, so were they. So I jumped on their suggestion and picked two of them. After a few tests shots, I managed to get what I wanted: A romantic scene in one of the most romantic cities in the world. The cigarette in the girl’s hand could be a cliché about French, but truth be told, she insisted on keeping it as a sign of “je vous enmerde!”.
Once the shot in the box, we decided to carry on our adventure at the top of Montmartre, and by then it was about 1:30 am and pouring rain. Bien sûr, we walked by the Place du Tertre (which I must admit has been ruined over the years, and its natural charm has been replaced by an overly marketed place of pseudo-artists and disappointed restaurants) and headed down to the Moulin de la Galette:
It was then time to head back to my hotel for a few hours of sleep before an other busy day in the office.
I hope these few exposures illustrate well my deep love for Paris. You already know I have named my daughter after a Scottish Isle (Isle of Skye), but you do not know that her 3rd name is Lutèce which is the French name of Lutecia, the Roman city on which Paris stands today.
For those of you who may be wondering whether I would I want to live in Paris, the answer is NO. I love it too much for that. One often fails to appreciate the beauty which lays before him/her on a daily basis (i.e., Most Parisians do not look at the beauty of the Eiffel Tower) and the crazy commuting that is common to big cities does not spare Paris.
So over all, she might be far from my eyes, but I keep her close to my heart. Her name resonates with Moliere, Toulouse-Lautrec, Dali, Louis XIV, la Tour Eiffel, Les Puces de St Ouen, Les Buttes de Chaumont, La Saint Maritaine, Les Tuilleries, la station St Michel et Gibert Jeune, Le 14 Juillet and thousand others.