Paris is one of my favourite cities, and we have a family tradition that we spend a weekend there every autumn to celebrate my mother’s birthday (she lived in Paris for a while in the 1960s when she studied at the Sorbonne). I love the fact that the city can be navigated on foot (perhaps with occasional help from an Uber). And I love the way that even simple street scenes or rooftops have a timeless look, because of the long history of legendary photographers who have taken pictures in the city. But most of all I love the light.
I’d always thought that the “city of light” nickname was just romantic in nature, but it turns out to be because Paris was an early adopter of street lighting in the 17th century (with lanterns) to reduce crime. And then its role as a centre of learning in the 18th-century Enlightenment cemented its claim to being the “city of light” in every sense.
But there really is something special about Paris light. So here are some pictures I took last time we were there.
We stayed in a lovely old apartment in the 7th arrondissement, and I enjoyed watching the light changing: from early in the morning, to an afternoon of long shadows in the Jardin des Tuileries, to a blissful evening spent drinking champagne with the windows open, “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis playing on the stereo and my mother reminiscing about old times. J’aime Paris!