This week, I have a hodgepodge of images to share from my recent visit to Paris. Weather was a bit all over the place that week, but all three of these very different locations are great for any time of the year or time of day. The roof of Galeries Lafayette is one of my favorite places to look over this beautiful city. Even though it’s not very high up, its proximity to such places as the Opéra Garnier give it an incredible look on the city.
The second image is from a spot I had to myself one freezing cold morning in March. Lately, I’m enjoying the Panthéon very much (now that the scaffolding is down), so I love that it’s a delicate piece of the backdrop beyond an empty Jardin du Luxembourg.
The final place is a new “hotspot” in Paris that is around the corner from my old apartment called Institut de Bonté. Bounty, indeed! I may have gone broke if this place had been open while I was living there. 😉 It’s right on Canal Saint Martin, so it’s in an ideal location for the droves of locals who love the Bohemian atmosphere of the 10th arrondissement.
When I was booking travel early in the year, I decided I would attempt to see two phases of Spring in Paris… early and a few weeks later. And if that didn’t work, then hopefully I would at least see one phase of Spring in mid-March or mid-April. Well, turns out I timed the first part of it perfectly and was able to see magnolias in bloom all over the city. My goodness, it was beautiful! I keep a long list by now of my favorite spots to shoot in the various seasons, which I was hitting one by one all the while checking the status of the next round of blooming trees. Looking forward to round two in a couple more weeks.
A few days ago, I passed through Paris ever so quickly, but still managed to see some signs of Spring throughout the city. I have been so aware of the warm weather and it’s inevitable effect on the upcoming Spring blooms, that I planned all my walks around my favorite blossoming trees, just so I could be sure to return in time to see them explode with color.
Once upon a time, I lived on this block. In fact, in May 2013, I arrived loaded down with luggage at 8 rue de la Grange aux Belles, that red door at the far right of the photo. I had been to the 10th arrondissement plenty of times before, but committing to living there wasn’t easy for me. My experience with the 10th was that it is run down and rather uninteresting, despite the lovely (albeit green-tinted) Canal Saint Martin that runs through part of it. Nevertheless, I signed the paperwork and took the plunge to live there, my to-be landlord assuring me with the help of this document that the neighborhood’s Bohemian crowds and new boutiques popping up, that his neighborhood is the new “it” quartier. The unwelcoming paint-chipped decrepit door and grungy tabac and bar just steps away notwithstanding, he was right… our neighborhood, and even most of our immediate neighbors were nothing short of charming. This area represented a Paris I did not really know yet and was suddenly eager to discover.
Still, there are improvements to be made here and there in the neighborhood. I always appreciated the beautiful florist Bleuet Coquelicot and how they literally spread the beauty up and down the block. What’s not to love about a row of colorful façades and plant-filled pots lining the street? It gives people reason to sit outside the neighboring establishments on even the grayest of days.