(Next week: Watch for Kitty’s photo series on Paris)
At one time I could go to Paris and walk all day. I would come home to my room tired but happy, because I am at heart a flaneur. Paris is a place made for walking and having no destination in mind. The joy is in the discovery. I have heard countless complaints about how crowded Paris is, usually from people who only see the Louvre and Eiffel Tower. Notre Dame can also get pretty packed. (The secret to Notre Dame, go very early. Attend a church service, or simply sit in the quietly in a corner and listen to people attending early mass. I am always taken for a Parisian when I go to Notre Dame very early. I am asked by locals “Oh have I missed much?” or “When is the next mass?” Parisians aren’t used to tourists that are up at 7am.)
I now suffer from a back injury that has made my day-long flaneur adventures a thing of the past. My view is that since I am going to Paris for free (I tag along using frequent flyer miles on business trips with my husband), a half day or even quarter day of walking, and a lot of sitting, is better than no Paris at all. So I am off to Paris again, to sit and look more than to walk and gawk.
I always take photographs while in Paris. I can’t imagine anyone visiting Paris without a camera or sketchpad. I’m not a “photographer .” For me, it became a way to enjoy Paris on my very limited budget. Paris on a budget needs to be the subject of another post. I’ve got it down to a science. Photographs are free, especially with digital photography. I remember my first visit to Paris carefully rationing my film, now I take 10 photographs of the same object without a care of processing fees.
Here are a few of my favorite flaneur photographs of past visits. I have a sense of sadness: I won’t be able to walk as much as I have in the past, but there is also a sense of new adventure. What will I see (and photograph) staying in one spot?
Here is video I took, just staying in one spot!
- Paris in Spring (modmissy.com)
- The Operatic Flaneur (wqxr.org)
- A fashionista’s wonderful weekend in Paris! (myfashionlife.com)
- Paris in Color (chroniclebooks.com)
- Paris on a shoestring (eurotunnel.com)
- from Paris& London with Love… (der-liebling.net)