29 January 2019

Images d'il y a 20 ans

It feels really cold this morning, and on Télématin they're telling us to prepare for snow this afternoon. A "named" winter storm, la tempête Gabriel, is moving in off the North Atlantic. I have a feeling Normandy, to the north of us, will get snow, and maybe Paris, but we might not.

I've now been sitting in front of my laptop for more than two hours going through photos I took in Paris in the 1990s. Or maybe Walt took some of them — the photo formats and the cameras in those days don't seem to have saved a lot of "metadata" like "date taken" or "camera model" the way they do now. If I had carefully labeled some of these photos 20 years ago... but, well, I didn't. I'm not sure which bridge this is.

Actually, I do know that three of these images date back to June 1998, before I had my own digital camera. They are labeled. But the one on the right, showing the Brasserie de l'Isle Saint-Louis, is one I'm not sure about. I wanted to post it because the photo I posted of this same restaurant yesterday shows it all closed up. This one give you a better idea of the atmosphere when the terrace is crowded with people. I think Walt took this one, but I can't be sure when he took it.

I'm using a very old version of Adobe Photoshop Elements (4.0) to enlarge, contrast, sharpen, and/or soften these old images. Here is one that I took using Walt's camera, I believe, from the roof of Notre-Dame cathedral. It's a scanned slide. I think it was in 1994. We were staying in an apartment on the Île Saint-Louis that year too, but not the same one as in 1998. We had climbed the stairs up into the towers of Notre-Dame and were admiring the views of Paris from up there. Even though I had been spending a good amount of time in Paris since 1970, I'm not sure I'd ever been up there before.

I'm not sure where this was taken — where along the banks of the Seine, I mean. Seeing photos like this showing Paris without all the buildings, cars, and crowds of people, can give people who haven't been there the impression that Paris is more of a village than a city. It really is a city, though, with more than two million people packed into just 40 square miles. It's not particularly bucolic.

Finally, here's a nice "soft-focus" street scene that I took, I believe, on the rue Saint-Antoine near the église Saint-Paul in the Marais. That's just across the "north branch" of the Seine from the Île Saint-Louis, so maybe we were out shopping for groceries or take-out food for a lunch or dinner in our rental apartment. Have I told you how much I love and miss Paris? We almost went there more often when we lived in San Francisco than we do now that we live in the Loire Valley. And I'm older too.


  1. That Notre Dame photo is amazing! I'm testing here...I had comments dropped by the Blogger software yesterday.

  2. Great photos, hoping for more.
    I moved to Europe in November 1997 and spent lots of time in Paris. I don't think I even saw a digital camera until years later--I think, actually, it was after 9/11, when a colleague was in town showing photos of the destruction on his digital camera. The technology has really changed photography. No more wondering whether you loaded the film correctly, or some idiot opening your camera or not rewinding correctly. Also, so much cheaper. I was so careful about not "wasting" film.

  3. Other than London, Paris is the city I've spent most time in; I love it too. No prediction of snow down here; I hope they're right, I'm not keen!

  4. Replies
    1. Walt and I both have some doubt about which of us took it. But either way, it's a keeper.

  5. Thanks so much for your nostalgia photos Ken...I was only in Paris once, but love to read everything about the City of Light and France in general.

  6. ND photo is wonderful. Maybe you will be in Paris this Spring...

  7. Isn't that bridge the Pont au Change, looking towards the east rather than the west and the Conciergerie? (I like a puzzle)

    1. Close. Walt looked it up, and he says it's the Pont Louis-Philippe, looking west (downriver). I think he's right.


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