More strange photos from Paris! While Suzanne has been mansion & museum hopping and absorbing the finer things of French culture, I have been absorbing the street & metro scene. Finding out-of-the way gardens and parks. Small neighborhoods like nesting boxes, inside bigger neighborhoods nestled inside the big city. My feet just refuse to go inside.
When I return to Paris for a month (sometime) I may be able to chisel some time away from tramping the streets to see pretty things and ingest some information. Maybe. I might.
The weather has been pure joy. Perfect walkabout sun & skies. I have watched leaves open on the trees. A haze of green settling over the bare limbs in all the parks.
Yesterday I made my way to the Saint Martin Canal area. Funky, worn. Easy to miss in a city like Paris with all of its fine monuments and gilded domes, but definitely a neighborhood of Parisians living their lives. High arched footbridges curve steeply over the canal. Cobbled walkways. Street art.
Explored a community garden alive with children tending small plots, men playing. Fields filled with children out of school for the day. So many mothers and babies and small children! So many ways for city dwellers to engage with the natural world here in Paris. After 2 weeks of quiet observation, my studies are incomplete. I must return in summer when the trees are fully leafed, vines thick on the walls, plants rambling out of window boxes.
A giant train station. Some things you just don't find except by accident.
If you've always wanted to see Paris and a companion is the only thing stopping you, COME ALONE. It is the most glorious visceral place. Whatever kind of travel niche you would like to make for yourself you can do it. If you have mobility issues the city busses are so fabulous! You can ride in comfort and watch Paris roll by your window. You will get lost and turned around. You'll drop your map, dribble caramel down your shirt front, stick your ticket in the wrong slot, step on someone in the metro.
But you will be so happy. Your heart will find new ways to be moved. Every. Day. Your senses will rise up to greet you.
You will be, as Mary Oliver writes, a bridegroom married to amazement.
And won't that be grand?
Won't that be grand?
Thanks for showing us some of the grittier side of Paris. Great shots!!
really you should post things for guidebooks for the other sides to a city that might not get visited but are there nonetheless and adorably quirky and appealing to a whole mass of people…really that sounds like a good gig on your breaks from monkey wrangling….
ellen kelley says
Dearest Mary Ann,
This has been a trip of a lifetime. Thank you!
Thanks for all the Paris goodness. I was there (sans husband) in May 2010, visiting my daughter (her junior year abroad) and LOVED photographing, walking the streets and setting my own pace . . . rain or shine, it’s an extremely beautiful city.
Thank you Mary Ann for sharing SUCH HAPPY posts – Margaret
Pauline Clark says
Oh man. I always wanted to go to Paris–now, even moreso. You make a city look truly beautiful. You write about it beautifully. Thanks so much for sharing! Perhaps, some day when I get a chance to go, you’ll share some not to miss streets and sites–like that train station! Thank you!
Sharon Bennett says
I am so lovin’ this. You are the perfect tour guide for me, because I wouldn’t want to see the usual touriest places. I love the back side and under places with great street art. I have to travel to Whittier on Sunday for a week of teaching. I will be close to your home and be thinking of ya, my friend!
Lise M says
Bonjour Mary Ann ! I’m French and Parisian. I’ve found your blog a few weeks ago, googling for scrap travel journals. I just love your previous journals and also your eyes and thoughts about the wonderful city where I live. Thanks a lot for sharing all that with us. Lise
April Cole says
Thank you for sharing all these lovely photos. I feel as if I am right there with you. :]
Enjoy, enjoy… I’m a Cali. girl and the weather here in L.A. has been cold and wet.
Gwen Delmore says
I have enjoyed this so much! My sister and her husband are buying a house in Normandy in a couple of years, and I plan to travel to Paris from there, and spend days alone, just as you have. that is my favorite way to see a city, the unremarked neighborhoods. I love the self-portrait, too!
I’m enjoying your trip, Ms. Moss.
Susie LaFond says
I am gonna miss all this, just as surely as if I had gone there and knew I was returning home soon. It’s been so beautiful and I had such a wonderful time, tromping around at your shoulder. Yes, indeed, do go back very soon.
This is so delightful- I can’t get enough!
Mon dieu! What a great trip. You are the perfect guide. Thanks for the great snaps & hidden wonders. What a delight.
I am loving the pictures of your trip. They are beautiful. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.
francesca dileo says
i so look forward to visiting paris with you every day via your blog. lovin’ every single post. and i love how parisians just hang out at the park, and how the chairs actually remain there and don’t get stolen!!! awesomeness.
I’m so enjoying my vicarious travels along with you these last weeks! You’ve done such an awesome of bringing so much of Paris with you and to us your readers! Wonderful vistas and visions you’ve shared, I’m grateful and humbled to be riding in your back pocket on this adventure!
Brian Kasstle says
A grand woman in a grand city. I have been to Paris a couple times. Nice to see it from someone else’s wonderful eyes.
Judy H. says
Another enjoyable post. And I want several of those fun wooden planter boxes. 🙂
susan w says
You are the kindest travel agent.
How very very touching.
I don’t even know what to say except a hearty thank you. THANK YOU for sharing your journey 🙂
Thank you for taking us with you on your journey (and such a grand journey it was)!! Safe travels home. May you relive the many happy memories again in your head and upon the pages of your journal.
*sigh* Mary Ann, I LOVE traveling with you. I never thought I needed to see Paris until I saw it through your eyes VIA pictures and words. Now it’s on my must – see list. Someday. *sign again*
How grand. What beauty everywhere YOU look. What a lovely Dispatch From Paris. Ma amie, I do not want to leave. Paris is such a feast for the eyes and the heart. Let’s walk on. Please. At least until the lights come on, on Rue Beaurepaire!
Fran Meneley says
Loving every single minute of your wonderful travelogue – I feel as if I’m there walking with you. The park looks so inviting, I can feel the sun on MY face as you show us around. And the flea market finds are beyond the coolest ever! Love, love, love…thanks for letting me travel in your pocket! xo fran
grand, indeed!! *sigh*
but of course you’re not alone – you have US!
this is one of the best times i’ve had in paris.
MaryAnn, I agree that Paris is a great city to travel sans companion. One of my trips there was 12 days alone … I too explored neighborhoods as you are doing. One Sunday afternoon I was in a small park in the heart of a “neighborhood” … 3 generations walking and talking and enjoying the afternoon. At that moment I realized how small the world is … I felt totally connected to people around the world who hang out in a park on a Sunday afternoon. I fully recognized that I was a citizen of the world in that park. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!
Tina abbott says
Oh the sTreet art makes me swoon! And take a fabulous self portrait.