Paris, the city of lights! Who would of thought it could be such a quiet place? I’m not saying it’s quiet compared to a Swiss mountain village, but for a large metropolis the nights in Paris are surprisingly calm. I’m currently living in the Parisian equivalent of Soho, known as le Marias, but even here the busy streets begin to empty around 11 and by 2 in the morning there’s hardly a whisper.
This is all a bit of a shock to my New York system, so I was relieved last weekend when I found out that I was in Paris for the Nuit Blanche or White Night. On this night, which happens only once a year, the city comes alive for the entire night with artists and galleries displaying some of their finest works throughout the city.
My neighborhood cathedral dressed for the Nuit Blanche.
It’s a shame the event only lasted one night, because the truth is there is no way to take in anything but a small sample of all the night has to offer. Even wandering the city till 4am, I only had a small taste of the art exhibitions that filled everything from ancient churches to city plazas. There were films, paintings and installations that are frankly hard to even describe. To get a more rounded picture of this amazing evening check out some of the highlights online here.
Paris remains something of a mystery to me. Unlike New York, Vienna or Rome, it’s people and streets remain somewhat alien and I feel very much a stranger in a strange land here. Even so, as with a new romance, there’s a thrill in the chase, in finding out new secrets and in seeing just how far the relationship will go.
Mine was the twilight and the morning.
Mine was a world of rooftops and love songs.
One more side of Paris…
― Roman Payne, “Rooftop Soliloquy”
I’ve been trying to push my way through a couple of new posts, but alas I seem to have lost some of my mojo during the long break. So rather then fade away completely for a few more weeks, I thought I’d simply share the first fruits of my photographic efforts here in Paris. This photo was inspired by all the incredible, monumental architecture of the city.
Even though I can’t see it, I still feel Paris in the photo.
As no doubt some of you will observe, there are no monuments in the photo. The thing is that I’ve noticed an inordinate number of tourist laden down with heavy (and expensive) camera gear. They walk around taking hundreds of photos in their little groups, photos that have been taken a thousand times before and using far better equipment than what I have. I thought I’d rather not start my trip with my own collection of standard Paris imagery and the inspiration from the cool autumn rain resulted in these photos.
Who knew how beautiful a sidewalk could be?
I’m reminded yet again of how much beauty is hidden in the world and… No, it’s too soon. Poetic writing is still on my horizon. Hopefully these images can speak for me.
But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there,
not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight,nor right and wrong
nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
At last it’s time for the next season of An Out of the Way Place’s travel to begin! Sorry to have the last season of posts end so abruptly, but alas yours truly had the false belief that not only could he balance the demands of interstate travel with writing, but also the demands of long absent friends and family. As my long break from writing should make perfectly clear, that was not the case.
A small taste of American culture.
The good news is that not only have I returned to international travel, but Continue reading
Capital of empires, crossroads of Europe and Asia, few cities in the world can come close to matching Istanbul’s history. Yet with an enormous population of nearly 14 million, it’s far from being only a center for history, rather it’s a vibrant, living and breathing center of life today, something like a hybrid of New York and Rome.
The waterfront offers countless views of the city’s magnificent architecture.
Also, as with a trip to Rome or New York, Istanbul presents the visitor with an excess of Continue reading
It’s time to leave the Baltics for a while as I again find myself overwhelmed with a flow of experiences that leaves me with the enviable task of choosing from among a series of adventures and locations, all which merit far more than one of my short posts to do them justice.
Not bad…. not bad at all…
A public elevator in Genoa for which you need a metro card.
I’m scribbling this post down as I look out on a lovely Italian garden in Genoa, where I’ve had a full schedule of touring the Italian Riviera, eating gelato and taking long walks along the sea. While Italy has always been one of my favorite countries to visit, this trip is a particular treat as I’m getting a personal tour from friend and great travel blogger Giulia (check out her own post on the area at Travel Reportage). When you get to be shown a country by someone paid to take photos and write about travel, you know something in your life is going right.
The base for this trip Continue reading