What might not have been apparent from my earlier post is that Paris is more than just beautiful architecture. There are people as well, and after photographing most of the tourist sights, I made a conscious effort to capture the people and unique activities that surrounded me. Unlike the first set of photos, I took some time to edit these to better focus on the subjects, but the final product is limited by my amateurism and equipment which was a circa 2003 Sony Cyber-Shot 2 megapixel camera with no optical zoom. It had decent optics and worked well with still subjects in good lighting, but it was challenging when capturing movement, especially indoors.
There were couples taking wedding pictures, (three weddings and no funeral), beauty pageant contestants, a Renault sponsored fitness fair, young people posing on high concrete pedestals, skateboarders and rollerbladers, kids playing soccer in the park, street musicians, and so much more. Like any famous city, Paris is overflowing with people and filled with constant activity, and yet, you can still spot a lone couple on the side of a bridge or along a quiet bank of the Seine.
This is a small sample of the characters I encountered. There was Sparrow Man who fed the little birds as they alighted on the arm of his jacket, and Opera Man, not Adam Sandler, but the startling mezzo soprano who inhabited the marble-columned passages near the Hotel du Louvre. Not represented here is the young Asian girl who played American jazz on her saxophone on a Paris bridge one warm late summer night.
I most loved the gardens that were everywhere and still in colorful bloom in September. Jardin des Tuileries features a large basin where children float colorful rented boats, and sculptures that reveal themselves as you pass between lines of hedges. The hedge lined lanes provide some privacy to couples as well. The Luxembourg was a close second and I spent the good part of a Sunday afternoon just sitting, people watching and meditating. You just pull up one of the lawn chairs, which are thoughtfully placed throughout, and inhale the view.