Poetry, Ray Charles, and the Bastille
The Youngrens in Paris

I plopped down on the couch in the living room while our friend David sat on the floor next to the fireplace and his buddy Alex gazed out the window overlooking the Place de la Bastille and slowly sipped his red wine, one hand in his pocket. Jeff and David's wife Nancy sat on the futon. Our half full wine glasses were either in our hands or sitting on a coffeetable near us. All of them reflected the warm rosy light that spilled from the table lamp in the corner that was covered in a red lampshade. It washed the entire room in red light. It admittedly felt a little too moody, but every lampshade in the apartment was colored red and our only other option for lighting was the fluorescent overhead fixture which drove all of us photographers insane. So we had no choice. One red lampshade in the corner was the lesser of the lighting evils. Besides, the lamp inside our apartment matched the big red awning of the giant cafe down in the Bastille square and the red lights of the cafe lit up our living room window. The redness on the inside connected all of us to the city.

We sipped our wine and David started reading poetry while a Ray Charles cassette tape played from the dual CD/cassette player next to the red lamp. We listened.

Poetry. 

We were a room full of four photographers and one brilliant economics professor renting an apartment in the Bastille, sipping wine, listening to cassettes, and reading poetry.

This is when I fell unimaginably, deeply, emotionally, head over heels over mind over soul in love with Paris. Jeff and I had been staying in a hotel in Paris for four days prior to this night of poetry until our friends, David and Nancy plus their awesome friend Alex, joined us and we all moved into an apartment together for the next ten days. Up until this point, I wasn't crazy about Paris. It was my first visit and all of our friends raved about the streets and food and romance and "Erin, you of all people will make Paris your favorite place on this planet. Nay, in the universe!"

So much pressure to love made me not love.

I felt like a tourist for the first few days of our trip so I couldn't quite get in the groove of the city. I felt like a foreigner. Like I didn't fit in. The wine and food were more expensive than I anticipated and we couldn't find a patisserie near our hotel at which to spend our lazy mornings... the romantic stories I had in my head just weren't matching up.

But as soon as David started reading poetry and I saw the red awning of the cafe pour in through the living room window and mix with the red lampshades and the sound of the Ray Charles cassette, I was done. You may as well have stuck a knife in me because I was baked. I suddenly felt the soul of the city. Not just it's heart, but it's soul. They say that Paris is the city for lovers. I disagree. Paris is the city for artists. Like digging your fork into a warm pasta dish or breaking apart a fresh baguette and watching the steam rise out, the city heats up the souls of artists so that we can be broken open.

So yes - I of all people do love Paris. The soul of it. It's the kind of city that doesn't let you take a bad photo of it because literally everything is so beautiful. Here's a bunch of favorites from our two weeks in the city, starting with some of my favorites that I took from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

I really love that this was taken on such a foggy, cloudy Paris morning. It makes it feel a bit more surreal.

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

I love making art that I can't wait to plaster around our house!

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

The highlight of my trip: Spending the morning at the Musee L'Orangerie and sitting in front of Monet's Water Lilies for an hour listening to Bon Iver, then walking through the Tuleries taking photos, hopping on the metro to the Opera House and sitting at a sidewalk cafe reading The Count of Monte Cristo while eating a panini and sipping an espresso before meeting up with Nancy to go shopping in the Marais. All by myself. Perfection!

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

 

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

La Cafeotheque below is a FABULOUS coffee shop. Loved it!

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

Can you guess which of the shoes below is Jeffrey's and which is our friend David's? Hint: the one that looks like a J.Crew ad with the boat shoes and the pea coat...

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

Nighttime is definitely magical in Paris.

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

 

Paris images, city images, Paris urban images, Paris at Christmas, Paris photography, Louvre images, Paris night photography, Notre Dame images, view from the Arc de Triomphe, view of the Champs de Elysee, Eiffel Tower images, Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

A huge thanks goes out to Dave and Nancy for always inspiring us as artists and as people and to Alex for being an awesome new friend - I have a feeling we have a lot more memories to make together over the years with you buddy!

Hugs,
Erin

 

    

A Brand New Happy Place + Photos at Versailles | The Youngrens | San Diego Photographers - [...] our trip to Paris? The poetry? The red awning? The Ray Charles cassette [...]

Jessica Norman - I feel like I’m seeing Paris in a whole different way!! These photos make me want to go back to Paris and just wonder. How I would love to have so many of these pictures hanging on my walls! Absolutely stunning!

Dave - Thank you for sharing your experience with us – in both ways.

I loved seeing what you saw and reading what you felt.

Megan - You guys make me want to go to Paris because your photos are so beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been on the list, but it may have moved up because of your photos. Stunning!! Absolutely stunning.

Anya Bananya - one, these are phenomenal! some of my favorite shots of paris ever! where are all the LOVE buttons on the website? ah well, i would have clicked each one! :)

Julie Wilson - Good gosh. So incredibly beautiful. I’m sooo glad Paris finally sunk it’s teeth into you. And I might need to buy a print from you. Some of these are just so perfect. xoxo

Catherine - My favorite photographers in my favorite city? Each one of these is utterly magical. You are a pair of highly skilled artists.

Angela McMillan - Is it possible to get a print or permission to print one of the photos?

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