A man looking out of an open window never sees as much as the same man looking directly at a closed window. There is no object more deeply mysterious, no object more pregnant with suggestion, more insidiously sinister, in short more truly dazzling than a window lit up from within by even a single candle. What we can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what we can perceive taking place behind a pane of windowglass. In that pit, in that blackness or brightness, life is being lived, life is suffering, life is dreaming.... - Charles Baudelaire, Windows
I met a lovely lady the other day that mentioned how she's slowly eating her way through Paris, indulging in two-three-sometimes four course meals at restaurants on her days off, always with a glass of wine and sometimes a flute of champagne. Commonplace in Paris perhaps, but what surprised me about her rather extravagant lunchtime ritual is she's enjoying it as a solo diner... which made me wonder, can dining alone be as pleasurable and rich an experience as when there's company? Does it paint a lonely picture or a romantic one? Does it matter what anyone thinks when it gives you great pleasure? And when company is simply unavailable, is there a choice?
The other morning I stopped at Cafe St. Regis on the Ile Saint-Louis and had a full breakfast, which I counted as progress from my going to a café alone for just a coffee or hot chocolate and viennoiserie. It was a perfect place to try and dine solo, mainly because it was familiar and this lovely bistro has great food (the meal above was from lunch with my family a few months back), the service is friendly and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. As a first go, I found the experience enriching...
How about you, do/would you enjoy going out and having a meal solo?
I was recently asked how I see Paris as a mother,… and I thought the best way to answer is through photographs. A few images for now that begin to scrape the surface of an evolving answer. I see a city that I thought I knew so well unfold before me from a three foot high perspective of wide-eyed wonder and punctuated play. Faded into the background is the Paris soaking in my sentimentalities, it becomes instead a jungle of extraordinary play spaces and boundless immediacy.
What my boys allow me to see is far more than what I see without them. I feel so very fortunate to be able to capture these magical vanishing moments of them against the timeless backdrop of Paris...
This post is dedicated to my beloved brother Paul [#leica]
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