- My criteria for the airbnb was simple. The location had to be prime and it had to have a view of the quintessential Parisian rooftops. I was looking for a space that reflected a somewhat romanticized image of Paris. Somewhere peaceful where we could leave the windows open and listen to the quiet streets below. We ended up finding a perfect little loft on the top floor of an old apartment building, wedged right between the Latin Quarter and St. Germain. The space was meticulously curated yet effortlessly charming. We were a block from the Seine, where we spent our evenings strolling along the river banks. Notre Dame, Luxembourg Gardens, and the Louvre were no more than a quick 10 min jaunt away. And we had easy access to the Metro for everything else. We felt immediately at-home in our neighborhood, frequenting the nearby Cafe de Flore and Le Deux Magots. But nothing won our hearts over like Chez Le Libanais, the unassuming Lebanese restaurant across the street.

- Les Deux Magots & Cafe de Flore. Two iconic cafes in the St Germain neighborhood, famous for the intellectual, literary, and artistic luminaries that frequented the establishments. Both have been in operation since the late 1800s. We had our first two meals here, enjoying the the scene while seated at the street-facing outdoor tables. Cassie especially loved the hot chocolate at Cafe de Flore.

- Nights on the Seine. The river banks are lined with students, lovers, and all other walks of life; there to enjoy the scenery and the warmth of each others’ company.

- This day was special. As many of you know, my fiancé is very active in the roller skating community. If there’s an opportunity to link up with fellow skaters when we travel, she makes it happen. On this day, @bedscenesonwheels was gracious enough to take us on a trail skate along the riverbank of the Seine, joined by @tikibooma and @choco.patine. We started off at the Bastille, made our way to the iconic skate spot of Palais de Tokyo, took a picnic break across from the Eiffel Tower, and finished at the Torcadéro Gardens. We’ll cherish these memories spent with our new friends, under the warm Parisian sun and riverside breeze. 

- I don’t enjoy large-scale museums. I’m talking places like the Met, the Louvre, the MoMa etc. Don’t get me wrong, they have impressive collections, albeit hard to digest. For me, it’s the crowds and the selfie opportunists that kill the experience. I look for a meditative space when I go to museums which is hard to find nowadays in the iPhone era. When we scheduled our visit to see Monet’s Water Lillies, I made sure to reserve the first slot of a weekday. We were able to see these works in peace and in the way they were meant to be seen. The masterpieces were painted on large curved panels across two elliptical rooms to give an “illusion of an endless whole, of a wave without horizon and without shore”. Naturally lit, the paintings change character and mood depending on the day. We could’ve sat there all day.

- A quick street sesh in our neighborhood. It was nice finding some rhythm and flow again after not shooting true street photography in months. The learning curve of shooting at a 40mm focal length has been fun, and I’ve gotten used to the slightly more cinematic feel of it. I also find myself shooting more portrait rather than landscape (orientation) which has given me a fresh pair of eyes after shooting almost exclusively landscape orientation at 35mm for years.

- This is where I proposed to the love of my life. In a quiet corner of the Louvre, with the sun setting behind the transparent pyramid, the tourists long gone and only a couple of jam (roller)skaters vibin to our right. They were playing some French 90s R&B-sounding music as I fumbled for the ring. The moment was perfect. Private and intimate. As I passed the ring over to her and engulfed in our emotions, a street musician started playing behind us as if on cue . With the sun down, and the City of Light living true to its namesake, we crossed the river back to the Latin Quarter, walking on clouds.


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