Over Thanksgiving I decided to forgo the turkey and spend the holiday tucked away with loved ones in a quiet cafe hidden on Rue Vavin in Paris' Monparnasse district. Behind the glimmering lights of La Coupole and Le Select that dominate both sides of Avenue Montparnasse you'd never even know the tiny Rue Vavin was there... unless you happened to have lived there several years ago as I did. As we walked back from Montparnasse through the Luxembourg gardens, with the Eiffel Tower on our left and the Hotel De Ville on our right, the city glimmered and shined as Im sure it always has capturing the hearts of so many photographers over the decades.
Night in the 11th
When we strolled over the Seine I recalled Brassai's "Paris At Night" collection and the famous "Kiss of Hotel De Ville" by Doisneau.. even the steps of the Pantheon ring with Avedon's famous photos. I walked around for 3 days without making a single photograph. On every corner flashed images taken by the late, great, masters. I was not there to reinvent the wheel, but I was never going to live up to Brassai's "Paris at Night" series in one short week... so I walked on.. and I noticed that the area I was in, the Marais, lacked all of the young people that used to thrive there between the slightly " dare- I- say-ghetto- at-the-time" 11th and the too posh to afford 1st.. Where had they all gone? I kept walking east toward my old never finished, hardly started, graduate school "Spéos" off of Rue Charonne in the 11th and all of a sudden, there they were and all of a sudden, Paris was new again.