Monday Postcard from Paris, by Night

1. There’s nothing quite like using the Eiffel Tower as your beacon home at night. This shot actually comes from one of the more terrifying nights of my life: when the Country Boy and I climbed to the top of our zinc Parisian roof to watch the fireworks last year. I spent most of the time shaking and quaking (I don’t do well with heights), but I did manage to still my hands long enough for this shot of the iron lady.

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2. In winter, night comes early to Paris, at four-thirty or five. As the sky starts to darken — often with a bit of rain, to boot — it’s so inviting to see the butter-yellow light of someone’s living room window overlooking the street.

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3. In what seems like another lifetime now, the place Contrescarpe, sitting at the top of the pedestrian rue Mouffetard was my backyard. And I’m in good company: Hemingway lived just off the square with his first wife Hadley in the 1920s. As night falls, locals take up residence in one of the bars overlooking this square for apéro.

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4. I’ve always had a thing for nighttime wanders in cities, and Paris is no different. Streets like the rue Cardinal Lemoine, familiar in daytime, take on an eerie, lovely quality at night.

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5. My usual walk home leads me right past the Max Poilâne bakery. There’s a famous family dispute between this bakery and that known simply as Poilâne, but in the evenings, the only thing I see through the plate-glass windows are miches, buttery croissants, and and the comforting sort of glow that means I’m almost home.