The cafe life in Paris

The first cafe I photographed that evening, over by Notre Dame.

The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay, I heard the laughter of her heart in every street café. -Oscar Hammerstein II

Ah, Paris - what a city.  Like everyone else that has ever been, I love it and I hope to return many times.  My last visit was back in November of 2014, when I had to be there on business right before our Thanksgiving holiday.  So I stayed there after my business was concluded, and my wife and daughter flew over and joined me, and we spent a week there together. (Yes, that was 2014 and I'm just now getting these photos shared here.  So much to do!)

It was fabulous, but then again, it’s Paris, so that’s expected.  Isn't it always fabulous?

Spending a week in Paris is always great, but I have to say that that week in particular is a fantastic week to go.  It wasn’t overly tourist-crowded anywhere (I assume most Americans stay in the US for Thanksgiving to visit with family) and the weather worked out great for us - slightly cool without being cold.  We easily got into The Louvre with just a short 20 minute wait.  We found tables at restaurants quickly, and even the Eiffel Tower wasn’t overly packed.  It all went so smoothly.

It was also a very productive week for me photographically-speaking, as I captured all sorts of things from all over that great city (and came home with several thousand photos, so yeah, I still have plenty more to work on from this trip).  In fact, I had previously put together a list of what I found to be the best places to photograph there, which you can find here.  After this trip, I made many additions to that list, so take a look and enjoy!  I think it's pretty solid all the way around and will definitely keep you busy.  I was happy to make it to a lot of new spots that week!  Now, I just need to find a way to get there again so I can capture even more of it (any excuse to return, right??!!).

Les Deux Magots, a famous cafe in Saint-Germain-des-Pres

A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.    - Thomas Jefferson

Today’s photos were all taken on a single evening there. I started near Notre Dame and wandered on towards and through Saint-Germain-des-Pres.  If you aren’t familiar, Saint-Germain-des-Pres is in the 6th Arrondissement, basically across the River Seine from The Louvre.  It's a fabulous area and it’s well-known for it’s cafe scene, popularized by all the famous writers that hung out there in their day, such as Ernest Hemingway.

See?  Even the pizzerias are beautiful in Paris!

I just spotted this down an alley of sorts, and had to investigate!

In particular, I was in search of Les Deux Magots, and succeeded in finding it (it was very easy, sitting right on Boulevard Saint-Germain right by the church).  I had seen photos of this one before and always wanted to capture it myself, so I made a point to get there one evening.  What I didn’t expect, but was happy to discover, is that the area is littered with beautiful cafes, sort of like the rest of Paris.  I found so many, and I shot them all.  So beautiful, so interesting, and so full of history and stories.  It was awesome.  

You can’t escape the past in Paris, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden. -Allen Ginsberg

I just have a thing for spots like this.  I love them, and have for as long as I can remember.  I guess I like the idea of sitting there and enjoying a cup of tea.  I can see myself working on photos or writing.  I imagine it's inspiring to do so, acting Parisian and watching the passers-by.  Maybe it’s all that, or just what I consider the historical significance of places like this.  Regardless, I am drawn in to these scenes and can't pass them by without stopping for a photo, which inevitably leads to another photo, and another, and...well, you get the idea.  That's how I ended up with all these!  

Anyways, I tend to seek these places out, as I did in Paris.  So I spent a couple of hours wandering and shooting, and ducking into side streets to see what else I could find. I walked away with the images you see here today.  All in all, a fairly productive evening in Paris if you ask me!

Do you enjoy these little slices of Parisian life as much as I do?