After a day, Paris appeared before my lens.

The texture of this city had a thousand stories to tell my camera,
on each street corner, a new tale.

There was the woman wearing a red beret and carrying a ferret, and the old men who played accordions on the bridges over the Seine. There were book toting students with strawberry blonde hair, orange red lips, clad in black and white striped tops with skinny jeans and ballet flats.

There were street vendors selling magnets, posters and old books.

Corners were grouped with young men, slim hipped and chain smoking, with careless dark eyes. There were pigeons and cigarette butts on the pavements and shoulder bags of baguettes and poodles in the crowds. There were stooped beggars, jaunty Caribbeans and French school children in a line, Madeline-style. The police crawled thick through the streets like ants, and sped in wailing cars to mysterious disasters.

It was a serving of humanity, tossed together like a salad, and served in an old pottery bowl, spritzed with a language dressing that was sharp and piquant.

The children took it all in stride, as children tend to do. They insisted they were doing a world tour of French Fries and it would be rude to discontinue their survey in the origin of the name. With each consequent junk meal, I have darkly commented on the mountain of broccoli and brown rice that I intend to force feed them on our return home.

They walked for miles, held an open and curious mindset to both the social and historical aspects of the cities we have seen. This was the closest they have come to seeing poverty, as we walked down a street after dark on the way home from an evening at the funfair. The homeless were bedding down for the night, some in sleeping bags in shop doorways and some on cardboard over the subway air-vents for warmth. One had a tiny kitten leashed with a string around its neck. M2 found this confrontation of the Unfortunate rather hard to take in and needed rapid distraction to prevent herself from nightmares (her words).

It was an interesting glimpse into another world for our kids, and I am very glad we made the effort, experiencing a thought provoking, unsettling and ragged beauty.

Paris was an old man smiling through his tears.

It is the wicked, distinguished fox to England's Jemima Puddleduck.

The city is culinary, rakish and very seriously stylish
(read here, very seriously expensive).

It was lovers in arms winding their way under the eaves of Baroque and Rococo architecture,

brushing past goths, gangsters and grannies in twinsets and pearls.

in Paris.

Merci beaucoup.

Gail –   – (July 15, 2011 at 2:35 AM)  

(big, long and happy sigh)

Charissa Steyn  – (July 15, 2011 at 3:20 AM)  

Ahh Paris- hope to go one day! Looks beautiful!!

Meghan at MNM's  – (July 15, 2011 at 9:10 AM)  

ooooo la la - so very Paree. You have captured the essence of this beautiful city so well. Love the girls in hat shots :-)

Melinda  – (July 15, 2011 at 12:08 PM)  

You get this and all I got was a lousy T-shirt. Thanks for the tour, that should hold me for a few more years.

PS I stole your post as mine for the day.

Kelly Sauer  – (August 5, 2011 at 7:25 AM)  

Oh what an experience! This is all so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!

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