Story Behind The Picture: An Homage To Paris From My Uncle David’s Parisian Home

My uncle’s architecture books at his Parisian home

I spent August 2014 at my uncle David’s house in Paris with my cousin Benny. She had just graduated high school, so traveling to France was basically her graduation present.

My uncle David is an architect who’s been living in Paris since the early 90s, and his house is a reflection of what he does for a living. My cousin and I felt incredibly blessed to be able to stay in his apartment while he was working in Normandy, because it was like having our own place in the city.

His one-bedroom apartment is located in Saint Paul, in the heart of Le Marais, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Paris. It is like a village made of medieval arches and secret passageways.

I took this picture on a sunny afternoon because I found that his architecture books, all lined up against the wall, were adding a very stylish touch to the room. Most of the books were in French, a language I am fluent in, so I enjoyed perusing them while my cousin prepared lunch.

It is difficult to describe what being in Paris meant to us. I had already been there with my parents five years prior to that summer, but exploring the streets on foot was like discovering the city for the very first time in all its beauty and elegance.

Paris is eating baguettes and bologna, drinking Diet Coke with Benny while looking from the window of our uncle’s house, seeing all those rooftops and feeling part of a French novel.

Paris is eating macaroons at Pierre Hermé and discovering a great tea selection at Mariage Frères. It’s buying matching yellow dresses with my cousin and taking silly photos in the shop mirror.

Paris is seeing Notre Dame Cathedral late in the afternoon, its profile silhouetted against the blue summer sky. It’s visiting Shakespeare & Company, an historical bookstore located on the Rive Gauche.

Paris is late night talks along the River Seine, when the city seemed safer than it would become in the following years. Or maybe it’s just that when you are a teenager nothing can really scare you, almost to the point of recklessness.

Paris is Les Jardins de Tuileries and a ferris wheel with amazing views on the city, delicious churros with Nutella and taking photos of a “chairoplane” with French flags on top. It’s spending an hour in the Sephora flagship store on the Champs-Elysées and watching a Parisian sunset from Pont Alexandre III, surrounded by newlyweds on their wedding photoshoot. Or trying to catch the sunset from the Eiffel Tower and succeeding to do so, running the steps two at a time because photography was already essential to my life.

Paris is Montmartre, Paris is Disneyland. It’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés with its famous cafés, it’s having tea at Les Deux Magots. It’s going to the Galeries Lafayette and to Abercrombie & Fitch, where we once took a picture with a model at the entrance (Abercrombie was all the rage back in the days).

Paris is rainy mornings at the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay (it rained so much all over Europe that summer), but also taking off at the wrong subway stop to visit the Café des Chats (Cat Café). It’s taking the train to Versailles to see the Palace and getting angry because of the constant rain and the long lines.

Paris is our uncle coming back from Normandy and taking us on a final tour of the city, of which I remember a whirlwind of places, included the Centre Pompidou, the Champs d’Elysées with Guerlain and Louis Vuitton. Getting to see a beautiful apartment he had just renovated with views on the Eiffel Tower and pretending we were living there. Paris is also taking public transport to Charles de Gaulle airport and seeing the outskirts of the city from the train, because “Paris is not just glamour and shining lights”, as uncle David said; traveling is first and foremost walking the streets of a city instead of seeing it only from the window of a car.

Paris is being young and fantasizing about living in “La Ville Lumière.”

Paris is thinking“One day I’ll be back” and knowing that I will, because it is one of the places that captured my heart the most.


One thought on “Story Behind The Picture: An Homage To Paris From My Uncle David’s Parisian Home”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: