35mm paris

3/01/2012



When considering what new things I wanted to do this year, at the top of my list was finally developing my old film rolls. Somehow I amassed over fifteen rolls, from various travels across three years. I'm not exactly sure why I was never inspired to develop them, perhaps because it can get expensive. This set of photos is special to me; it represents an important change. In 2009, I did one of the the most uncharacteristic things that I've ever done, by flying to Paris on my own. I stayed in Montmartre, visited some old spots and some new. I never felt so homesick in my life! I can look at the prints now with a level of fondness, displacing any previous trepidation that I had.



I stayed at a hotel named after André Gill, it was near the quaint cafe-lined Rue des Abbesses. There were two cats that lived at the hotel and made me feel less homesick. I made a short video here that features one of them. The hotel also had a nice courtyard, as seen below.



The narrow staircase



During a walk to my favorite cafe, I passed a row of motorcycles parked alongside the street. To my surprise, there was a perfectly happy large cat, resting on one of the seats. I wondered what the owner of this motorcycle might think - when he arrived to such a sight!


Little darling!



A year earlier I visited this cafe for the first time, with Donald and my sister. We had an incredible breakfast here, and I vowed to return.


More sights in the area



One day I visited le Square du Vert-Galant, at the tip of the Île de la Cité. It was filled with Parisian families relaxing with their strollers. Notre Dame was around the corner, but I only stayed long enough to take a picture of the details. It looks like 100 sleeping men.





On my last day, I took a train to Poissy to see my favorite Le Corbusier building, the Villa Savoye. These were my favorite shiny loafers.



I had dreamt of seeing it in person, and wouldn't feel complete until I had. I suppose I get that way with certain things. All it takes is for me to see an image in a book, and I'm already planning a hypothetical trip to see it. Perhaps that's not a good trait to have, but if I had to choose between a new outfit or a grand voyage, I'd pick the latter. I did many more things while in Paris (like learning how to bake madeleines) and I'm certain that there will be infinitely more things to do in the future!

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27 comments

  1. Who knew those pictures were undeveloped! I need to do the same! There won't be any Paris pictures, but I'm sure I will find some entertainment value in them! Hehe.

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    1. Sadly I knew that I had undeveloped Paris photos, not to mention Monaco and Barcelona. I'm a terrible procrastinator at times! It'll be fun for you to see your new prints! :)

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  2. What an adventure! How did you end up going to Paris by yourself? I've never done a trip like that on my own. This summer I'll be doing a bit of a road trip on my lonesome from California to Texas to Colorado, and I have my trepidations about that...it would take a lot of courage on my part to go all the way to Paris on my own! I admire you. :)

    By the way, I'm Paris-bound this June--if you can think of any recommendations (food or otherwise) for me I'd appreciate it!

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    1. Well basically I really wanted to go to Paris in the summer of 2009, and everyone I knew was busy, or not interested. I had been on excursions on my own before (although not to a full country alone), so I figured it was like the same thing. Hehe, it was certainly not the same, especially when you can barely use cell phones! In the end I learned a great deal about myself, so it was worth it. Are you from California? Visiting Colorado is amazing, it's so beautiful there! Good luck on your own adventures :)

      p.s. for any Paris tips I'd say, of course visit Versailles, maybe take a cooking class in Montmartre, ride a boat at the Bois Vincennes and eat breakfast at Le Deux Moulins! Ladurée, Pierre Hermé, Angelina, etc are all obligatory stops, but an adventure is funner. x

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  3. LOOK AT THAT CAT. Fat gingers are so magnificent.

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    1. Haha yes they are. Fat cats in every country are magnificent x

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    2. Ginger is the name I gave to that beautiful tabby always sleeping on one motorcycle or another outside his owner the very nice Tunisian gentleman's grocery store on rue des Abbesses.
      But the gentleman has moved, and took Ginger along. That was back in early summer 2011.
      Thank you for this pic. Probably the last pic of Ginger.

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    3. Ginger is the name I gave to that beautiful tabby always sleeping on one motorcycle or another outside his owner the very nice Tunisian gentleman's grocery store on rue des Abbesses.
      But the gentleman has moved, and took Ginger along. That was back in early summer 2011.
      Thank you for this pic. Probably the last pic of Ginger.

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  4. ah my favourite city. i think i would enjoy going to paris on my own very much. even though it is quite a brave thing to do. i've been so many times now but i always feel guilty dragging along friends to see all what i want to see. you had a great trip.

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    1. Perhaps if I had lived a bit closer, it wouldn't have been so bad. But it would dawn on me that I was so far from Los Angeles and all my loved ones, and that didn't help homesickness! I understand what you mean about dragging people to your favorite places. I think by now Donald is used to seeing various architecture sites and gardens hehe! x

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  5. I went to Paris last weekend, and it was great. It's a lovely city and your pictures are lovely too :) I really like them.

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    1. It looks like you had fun! and thank you x

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  6. beautiful pics. I used to live in Paris, and I always get a little homesick when I see photos of it...

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    1. What a great place to live, it would have forced me to speak better French! x

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  7. Woow these photos are so good! I haven't really been to Montmartre, do you have any tips Valerie?
    hahah sleeping men XD I find it so curious to visit another city just to see a building, even if it's by Le Corbusier! You're always so inspiring :)) I'd rather spend on travels then dresses too, for sure!

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    1. :) After studying modern architecture I got sucked in. It makes me happy to see such beautiful human achievements! Tips: walking through the Montmartre hills is so fun in itself, I'd take the Abbesses metro stop and go from there. One of my favorite memories was riding the carousel at the foot of Sacre Coeur, and listening to the choir inside the church. Breakfast at Cafe des Deux Moulins is a must too. It's a nice area but beware of the people trying to sell you bracelets! Haha x

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  8. ohhh, these photos are beautiful. how exciting to see photos from years ago that you never had developed. i thought i took a while to get around to it (usually because i need to finish up a roll of film first) but it's never taken me three years! what an amazing trip though, i would love to do something as romantic as that, even if it made me homesick too.

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    1. I used to develop film rigorously for several years, and then it got quite expensive. In the end I found a good new developer that is quite cheap so I have no excuses! But there's something kind of fun about discovering old photos. I had forgotten all about that fat orange cat I saw :)
      x

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  9. Such beautiful pictures. They really capture the city well. Makes me wanna go back, although I was only there 2 weeks ago! haha. Love these xx

    www.roamkix.blogspot.com

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    1. How lucky! Something about film makes things feel more subdued. I have about 300 digital photos from this same trip on my computer, but I prefer the 35mm versions! x

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  10. I can't believe you went to Paris by yourself! That is incredible, my goodness-- gutsy! I know I wouldn't have been able to do it! But now, it's totally on the top of my bucket list. I need to learn how to be on my own. These pictures are beautiful!

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    1. It was gutsy, but not entirely a great idea. I think having good company always elevates experiences and cities, so from now on I'm going with my boyfriend! :) Thank you x

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  11. What is more lovely than a tranquil sunbathing Parisian ginger cat, hmm... Not much.

    rL

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  12. Melanie here! I enjoyed this piece, please email me--I have a question about your blog. MelanieLBowen[at]gmail[dot]com

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  13. That sounds like such an incredible and brave adventure. I love developing rolls of film and seeing what surprises await!

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