Why it’s called “the city of light”

There are lots of theories about why Paris is called “la ville lumière” (“the city of light”). I’ll save mine for another day — as Esteban and I are on our way to the airport in an hour to catch our flight home — but here are a few of the moments I witnessed over the past two weeks.

Many more to come, with a huge thanks to the dear friends, old and new, who made this visit so special …

Accordeoniste 1280385 BLOG

Lamp posts 1250910 CL BLOG

Metro and Eiffel 1180858 CC BLOG

Cochin quarry 1210403 CL 2 BLOG

Hotel de Ville and Quai Bourbon CL 3 1250578 BLOG

Hotel de Ville and Quai de Bourbon 1220051 BLOG

Huchette café 1230936 BLOG

BIke 1240016 BLOG

La crème de Paris 1240736 CL BLOG

Ma Bourgogne 1280087 CL BLOG

Notre Dame and moon 1250489 CC CL BLOG

Palais Royale blossom 1230445 BLOG

Passage 1260896 BLOG

Quai Bourbon 1270794 CX CL BLOG

Rue des Chantres 1270739 CL BLOG

Sunrise on Khan's house 1270710 BLOG

Louvre 1260133 BLOG


    • Thank you so much, Anthony! I always appreciate your kind words. And when i get home i look forward to catching up with what you’ve been up to!

    • When I stumbled upon that moment I knew it was gold, Jim. Thank you so much for your kind words … your enjoying my photos is really the highest compliment!

    • Thank you so much, Roy. Coming from you this is a wonderful compliment … thank you for making my day with your kind words!

  1. Your pictures are exquisite! I am so sad you guys have to leave! (I have been living vicariously through you!) but I hope you have safe travels! Thanks for letting us tag along, and letting me have a taste of Paris again! 🙂 ❤

    • You’re so sweet, Kate. Thank you! We’re home safe, but are already planning our return trip — so hopefully you won’t have to wait *too* long for the next installment. It was a joy to have you along, even if only vicariously. xx

  2. In its simplest definition, photography is nothing more than capturing light reflected on surfaces; but that “nothing more than” conceals a myriad possibilities, as you have demonstrated here; and also tells us something about ourselves as we inevitably sort the images into an order of personal preference. It seems that I am more attracted to strong light (the accordionist, the waiter cleaning the window (on the Rue de Rivoli?), the little red cafe tucked away on a narrow street, glowing in defiance (it seems) or its surrounding sombreness, and the grey geometry of the windows reflecting the end of the day. All beautifully realised; but some connecting with me more strongly than others, as it should be. Thank you.

    • I love your philosophical take on what the images we’re drawn to tell us about ourselves, Xpat. That image of the waiter (at Ma Bourgogne, on the Place des Vosges) will likely remain my favorite from the entire trip. The others with the more subtle light were probably colored a bit by my own emotions in that moment, which may not translate for others. But regardless, anytime you enjoy my photos it’s a TREMENDOUS compliment. Thank you for that!

  3. Exquisite visual journey, thank you! Light-filled photos, rich in detail and wordless stories. Food for the eyes, Heide, and for the soul – thank you!

    • Oh, Lara … you sure do know how to make a gal’s spirit SOAR. Thank you … I’m so pleased these images spoke to you! xx

  4. Looking at your photographs which are beautiful, makes me more anxious then​ ever to get to Paris.

    • Now that I’m back home, I’m more anxious than ever to get back to Paris too. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your lovely comment.

  5. I love these photos… especially the one with the man with the umbrella running… so much Paris in that. I can actually see some pictures being better in Black and White… but maybe it’s because of all the pictures I have seen.

    • I agree with you 100% that some of these would be better in black and white — that lends such a timelessness to them, which especially suits Paris. I didn’t want to spend that much time at my computer while on vacation, though, so I did the most minimal possible processing. But if you keep out an eye I have no doubt that some of these will reappear in monochrome! 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by, Björn.

  6. Beautiful photos and light. You’ve captured lovely Parisian moments and brought out their ambience. You’ve given me inspiration (hint, hint). Thanks for these photos.

    • … and thank YOU for making my day with your kind comment. Mr. Draco. I always feel extra-pleased when you like my work. 🙂

  7. Luscious photos, as always. I do like the look of the gentleman in the first photo, with his wonderfully, stylishly, well-loved trousers and jacket (are they corduroy or velvet?) his turn-ups, carefully-tied scarf and smart cap. He’s rocking a whole palette of well-chosen shades, from his rich tan shoes, through his mole-coloured jacket, his chestnut waistcoat and all the way up to his serious grey cap. I’m not sure he could exist anywhere but France. He looks like a retired professor of Philosophy on a Sunday stroll by the river.

    I love the way you capture split seconds that are full of stories. I like the bike with the rusting handlebars and bell, along with the worn saddle. It’s a bike that has lived a useful life. I like all the photos. Please keep taking them.

    • I *love* your description of the gentleman in the first photo — it’s far richer than any photo I could ever take! And I agree with you wholeheartedly that he probably couldn’t exist anywhere other than France. The Italians are just as stylish, I suppose, but the French have a gift for making it easy.

      And thank you especially for that second paragraph. My eye felt a bit “flat” on this trip and I came home largely disappointed with my work. But upon your encouragement I will keep sorting through my photos — and I promise to keep taking them too.

      Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by. xx

  8. “la ville lumière” – you’ve captured so many aspects of it. Sun, moon and reflections. And the inner light coming to us from people you’ve met or just seen. Gives light to my morning today!

    • What a gorgeous description of these photos you’ve written, Ellington … your kind words give light to MY morning today. Thank you!

  9. Good morning Heide, it’s been over a month since I posted a comment on your pictures. My husband is taking me to Paris on September 3rd, trip is booked and I’m ready to go now. Can you give us any suggestions on our stay? We will be in the Montmartre area. Thank you for any pointers that you can share.

    • How wonderful — what exciting news! I hope you’re packed already, because September 3 will be here before you know it. 🙂 Montmartre can be lovely and village-like or choked with tourists, depending on the particular street and time of day. So the first bit of advice I’d give you is to get out for strolls early in the morning so you can experience your neighborhood without the crowds. My favorite photogenic street is the Rue de l’Abreuvoir — if you go down the hill to the Place Dalida and look back up the street you’ll get a gorgeous view of the Sacré Coeur basilica. I also recommend the Montmartre museum, at 12-14 Rue Cortot. Not only will it give you insights about your adopted neighborhood, but you’ll also enjoy a great view from the garden of Paris’ only remaining vineyard. For another great panoramic view of Paris go to the steps in front of the Sacré Coeur basilica. On a warm day you’ll be serenaded by a variety of street musicians and performers — but watch out for pickpockets! It’s not dangerous per se, but do be aware of your surroundings and be discreet about your valuables. Two restaurants you may enjoy for the atmosphere are Chez Marie at 27 Rue Gabrielle and Le Bon Bock at 2 Rue Dancourt. The latter is the oldest restaurant in Montmartre and the décor still looks much the same as you see in Édouard Manet’s painting. Other classic sights are the Place du Tertre, the Lapin Agile cabaret, and the Cimitière de Montmartre cemetery. And for a charming spot that few tourists ever see, don’t miss the Villa Léandre at Avenue Junot (it’s only a block long, but you won’t believe these charming little houses exist in Paris). I hope this gives you a few ideas, but please don’t hesitate to reach out again if you have specific questions. ENJOY!

        • You’re very welcome! Hope you have a wonderful trip — and if you blog about it, please let me know. I would love to hear about your adventures!

  10. Well selected places for Your photos. Very lovely Paris photos, which praise it charm. I have been there many times during my life. Every time my wife and I found something new and visit those places which we love.

    One of our favorite places is Père Lachaise Cemetery. We spend there few hours watch the graves famous people.

    Thank You for this post and its photos.

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

    • How wonderful that you are a lover of Paris as well. You are so right that there is always something new to discover, no matter how many times one has visited! Père Lachaise is also one of my favorite places, though, so I almost always make time for at least one visit. Perhaps I should do a blog post about it one of these days. 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your kind words. You’ve made my Sunday!

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