Editor’s note: This is the 12th installment in the “Paris Vignettes” series by photographer William O’Such. William was introduced to silver halide photography by his father, Chester J. O’Such, via the family’s Ansco reflex camera and home darkroom. After college, William worked as a photographic engineer at Eastman Kodak, where he began to learn the art of photography. With his first SLR, a Canon AE-1, he photographed his inaugural voyage to Paris in 1982. This early spark turned into full passion when William became a Kodak expatriate in Paris from 1995-99. Before returning to the USA, William and his future wife Ineke bought an apartment in the Marais district. William continues to visit Paris at least twice a year to wander the streets, camera in hand, looking for the next vignette.
Finally returning to Paris after 18 months, it was emotional to wander the streets and capture la vie quotidienne again. Those first steps along our neighborhood streets brought a tear to my eye as I was thinking I would never see them again. My aging hip (now replaced a few days ago!) slowed me down a little but fortunately much of Paris is flat so it wasn’t as challenging as San Francisco. I hope everyone enjoyed my side adventure to Les Batignolles which is an area I never had a chance to visit until this trip. Enjoy my 12th “vignettes” of Paris. Next trip will be around the holidays!
Au Jardin du Carnavalet
One can imagine the conversations that have occurred in these chairs since the gardens of the Carnavelet museum have opened as a restaurant. A perfect place to spend lunch in the middle of Le Marais.
Débat du Dimanche
I also enjoy how Parisians get absorbed in Sunday discussions and debates in the various parks around Paris. This was from the Batignolles series, taken near the Allée Barbara.
Discussion entouré de verdure
Nothing better than finding a quiet spot along the Seine away from everyone but also in plain view of everyone.
Fenêtres avec des lierres
The park at Buttes Chaumont is a must-visit for everyone. Deep greenery, unbelievable views of Paris and restaurants hidden away amongst luscious greenery.
Some florists have beautiful presentations on the sidewalk in front of their shops as well as the interiors. This florist not only decorated their shop but also the whole corner near the Arc de Triomphe.
When it rains in Paris, one needs to look down to catch the reflections of everyday life as people dash around.
Each bouquiniste prides himself/herself in their book displays, each stand deeply rooted in different themes of French literature. (Read more about these book stalls on the Seine here.)
I didn’t realize in taking this photo that I caught an older generation reading the news via a newspaper and another generation reading his phone. The dog seems a bit bored but patient.
Les Halles au Soleil
Playful shadows of people as they are dashing through the Les Halles on a sunny Saturday.
This was taken at the new museum known as the Bourse de Commerce- Pinault Collection (also featured in my recent dispatch from Paris). Sometimes one has to look up to enjoy the beauty that old windows of this museum impart.
Reflections de Paris
After a short summer rain, you can see parts of Paris you haven’t seen before.
The server at Café de Flore
Some of the best professional servers in Paris make your experience at Café de Flore always memorable. I think this is over 20 years that we have visited there for lunch and it is always a pleasure. One of my favorite photos is from there.
Lead photo credit : Au Jardin du Carnavalet (C) Bill O'Such