Latin Quarter – Paris 1995

Latin Quarter - Paris 1995

When I was in Paris in 1995, I walked around the city. I shot each day for a week. I came upon this window and inside the store were these elements: Mirror, antique statue, bedpost, etc. and behind me was a building and a bike on the street. It spoke of the medium given my being upside down in the mirror. The black and white spoke of timelessness. The age and articulation of Europe as the origins of my soul, that I could apprehend catharsis itself in an image meant that I could stop. I have never shot a better image than this. It represents me, my eye, and aesthetic capacity. I hope to continue this journey when I eventually get to London, another city with windows in an urban environment.


    • I am just beginning. I am not sure how to incorporate this as a header. The yellow was actually getting to me. It reminded me of the effect my lemon yellow carpet had on me and the sky blue walls of my room in a Honolulu hotel, where I lived for two years in Waikiki. See my review of Hotel Honolulu.

  1. Lovely image. Long ago, I worked as an Au Pair girl in Paris. A beautiful city for sure. How wonderful that you could capture its essence.

    Thanks for stopping by my site. I appreciate it!

    • I love that you were an Au Pair girl taking care of a family and now you are a physician. Your education astounds me. My father was a doctor and so many books he had and I knew he read them all and had to know everything to treat people.

      • Definitely a lot of reading. And it still is–always so many medical journals to keep up with. But I suspect that’s the same in every profession whether one is a teacher, lawyer, police officer, etc. Thank you. 🙂

      • Medical journals. I never thought of that. Is that how you get your information? How do you, or is it decided, that they have credibility?

        I keep thinking how I can’t stand my job, but it is actually much easier than what you do. And I was thinking about studying law, but in the end, like you, I would be reading something I might not be totally interested in.

        When I studied for my paralegal certificate I got straight A’s, but when I finished, all I wanted to do was read novels. I haven’t done anything with Law since then. All I want to do is get up in the morning and write, edit, and share. So, I guess I should keep my job, if I can. I am always distracted with a love affair with art.

        When I think of you, I think of how you help people and how much esteem you have, and economic rewards. Medicine is the perfect profession: Psychological, economic and social esteem if you can keep up with your work, that is.

        I loved your story about Mr. Cool. I could see you two, where he is this cool as a cucumber success story and you have to work at it more than he. I marvel at relationships as plays of power, his generosity in buying you groceries and that’s pretty much all that you needed.

        This plays with many themes in my writing. I am always thinking about money, prestige and relationships. Thank you for taking the time to write back. I admire you.

  2. I’ve stayed in the Latin Quarter on two occasions and it never fails to move me. The first time I stayed on the Rue de Mouffetard, where a there are surrounding streets of old patisseries and boulangeries. I truly love Paris and your photo captures its essence perfectly.

    • Thank you so much for saying so. Paris is my favorite place in the world because it exudes an aesthetic consciousness, and yet it is my understanding that it is just as expensive there as it is in San Francisco; so it goes to show me that I remain idealistic. I couldn’t afford where it is most like me.

      I am sure I walked through this area you talk about.

      • It’s one of my favourite places also. It is so inspiring with its wonderful architecture, art, fashion, writing and coffee shops. I love the culture there and its a place that will always be in my heart.

  3. I agree as it will remain in my heart as well. Sadly, I don’t think that the reality of it, if we were to have to live and work there, would be as beautiful as our memories. I have many French acquaintances and they are in the United States because of things they don’t like about France. Where, I think you would agree that it is also the language that makes it masterful.

    • at a (the only) bar in Medicine Bow, Wyoming a woman told me “every place seems great until you live there”… actually, I lived for 20 years in Paris and loved it, but then it was time to leave (Italy now).

      • YES- Most of Europe in all it’s historical civility structured cities around foot traffic, beauty, and the arts. Public space is a treasured well-used space. America is either too expansive or too lazy and greedy to allow such spaces let alone embrace them (exceptions of course being downtown Madison, WI; Portland, Oregon; and about a 5 block radius in Chicago).

  4. San Francisco is pretty special too, but I agree with you about the Pearl District of Portland, a little spot near Rice University in Houston, NYC has some moments, but as a person, who is contemplating buying property, with my income there are simply limits to what one can do, so I am beginning to understand where the greed comes from. I believe in Europe, the rich-poor gap was so great that it allowed for many to sacrifice themselves for great beauty. There is writing about the Romans using other peoples to create their architectural wonders.

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  6. Ignacio: i see an original photo, caleidoscopical, and with three visions: the shop window, the reflections of the building and those on the mirror.
    Marta: To what it represents to us two: Time fugacity of what is moving in the picture (a person passing by), but also the fugacity of the objects. Black and white is an intent to freeze time, as you said, to turn something timeless.
    Ignacio: the union of two worlds the present and the past.
    Marta: also the confluence of the old world (Europe) and the new one (America).

  7. This photo is incredibly well-done, artistic and, as Ignacio said, original. How you have been able to capture so much within a single shot is astounding. Everything seems to fit: the new and the old, the moving and the static elements, also the lights, shades and reflections. The mirror with you looking upside down is also interesting. It is like looking at the world from a different perspective. That happens when we travel and when we try to find a missing part of ourselves. This picture should win the first price of a photo contest. Have you presented it?

  8. Pingback: Latin Quarter – Paris 1995 – Words Words Words

    • Thank you. I like to think that in photography, I am actually garnering enough distance from myself to share something worthwhile. That image, I think, is my best. It pays tribute to the medium. The mirror is the apparatus that is employed. Black and white represents timelessness, and the various symbols in the mirror represent time past, the reflection in the glass is time present, and the future, I like to think is an amalgamation of people, who focus on catharsis, which is within and I believe this picture captures that and celebrates it.

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