City of the Living and City of the Dead

Though additional cemeteries in Paris were banned in the late 18th century, the Montparnasse Cemetery was opened in 1824 because the area had not yet been incorporated into the city. Today, it’s an odd dark space in the otherwise bright city. The idea of adjacent blocks belonging to graves and apartments has a polite kind of symmetry.

City of the Living and City of the Dead

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Brightest Tower

After nightfall, the Eiffel Tower puts on an hourly strobe light show that transforms the tower into a sparkly pillar in the city skyline. Much as a flash can brighten a photograph, this effect also means that long-exposure photographs of the tower make it the brightest object in the skyline by an order of magnitude.

Brightest Tower

Boats in the Seine Near Notre Dame

The bridge in the distance is the Pont au Double, and it is one of several that connect the Rive Gauche to Île de la Cité. That central island fascinates me because it is the site of the medieval refounding of the city. The island used to be packed with residences alongside government and religious buildings. Today it is almost entirely dominated by the latter buildings (like Notre Dame on the right), yet I heard that census information still lists a few hundred people living on the island. Where are those last homes hiding?

Boats in the Seine Near Notre Dame

Second Summer Sunset

Weekend wind banished the last of the leaves from the trees and brought us fully into Stick Season. During this worst of all possible seasons, I appreciate looking back to the pictures I took when the world was a bit more vibrant. On the second day of this summer, the sunset hid behind the big leaves of the trees—the leaves that now coat my lawn.

Second Summer Sunset