Long walks and French Fryes in Paris

The highlight of my first Saturday in Paris came at the end of the day. But you’ll have to wait for that story because — as I told my new friend Corey tonight — I’m a linear thinker.

So let’s start at the beginning. Although today started fairly inauspiciously with a bit of drizzle, within a couple of hours the warm, bright sunshine enticed Esteban and me out of the apartment.

We hit the sidewalk with the vague notion of visiting a museum. But we only had to walk two blocks to get our fill of art: Today’s open-air market at the Place de la Bastille was teeming with painters, photographers, jewelry makers, and a dozen or two other artisans.

There’s a metaphysical saying that “what you think about, you become.” I certainly found that true today in my photography. Maybe because I started my day looking at art, my eyes were primed to seek it out wherever I went.

For instance, the streets suddenly seemed full of graffiti-covered vans. Some had obviously been tagger targets, but several others were bona fide murals on wheels.

After a long, aimless stroll, Esteban and I stumbled upon the northern end of the Canal St. Martin. If you’ve seen the film Amélie, you’ve seen this spot in all its romantic glory. It’s not quite as soft-focus-lovely in real life, but the quality of the light was beautiful.

I was delighted to find lots of interesting street art along this stretch—including a combined work by two of my favorites, Némo (known for his black-and-red men with umbrellas) and Jérôme Mesnager (disarticulated white figures).

Along the way we also stopped to pet a disconsolate puppy outside a grocery store, take a self-portrait in an automated public loo, and watch our fellow humans go about their business.


That was all great. But by far the best part of my day came shortly after 5 p.m., when I spotted a friendly face and a waving hand across the Place des Vosges.

I’ve made lots of Internet friends through Flickr and HBlog, but I’ve never actually met any of them in person — until tonight. And if my experience with Corey is any indication, I really must get out there and meet every single one of you.

Esteban and I spent a couple of delightful hours chatting with our new friend. I wasn’t surprised to discover that Corey is as interesting, witty, and articulate as he comes across in his French Frye in Paris blog. I very much hope to see him again before I leave town.

After Corey left to meet his wife for dinner, Esteban and I ended the day with yet another bottle of Beaujolais and an exquisite dinner of roasted beef, potatoes, and foie gras. We loved everything except the fois gras. Seems we’ve not yet quite become truly French.

But we’ll keep trying.


  1. You mentioned: “what you think about, you become.” I think the converse of that is also true: that what you think about, you find in everything you see. Once again, your story and its “illustrations” are an experience in itself. We are getting to know Paris better; but we are also getting to know you better. Thank you.

    • Aw, Xpat … thanks for your kind (and very thoughtful) words. You’ve made my day. I’ll try to repay the favor with my next post.

  2. Aw, thanks for the kind words. A pleasure meeting you and Esteban as well. Sometimes I forget there are genuinely nice people out there…thanks for the pleasant reminder.

    Looking forward to our next aventure parisienne!

    • I could have gone on and on about how wonderful it was to meet you, but I didn’t want to embarrass you. Grin. Seriously, Corey — meeting you is going to be one of my favorite souvenirs from this trip. And I’m very much looking forward to Saturday. À très bientôt !

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