To continue my ramblings on imagery that is evocative, or provocative for that matter, I have been going through images that have held some level of mystique for me. I did not take these images and the credit goes elsewhere. This first image is very dreamy and makes me want to visit Paris again. I saw the Eiffel Tour up close and personal on my last trip, but spent very little time during that jaunt. I love the Marais and Latin Quarters the most and never branch much further west than the Louvre. Now, don't get me wrong, I've been to Paris twice, so it's not as if I've had numerous jaunts to the City of Lights. Nonetheless, those two districts are my favorite as they tend to be less touristy and a tad quieter. More on Le Marais later...
Doorways of Paris always seem so special. The French have a way with most things decorative and have provided their own distinct spin on the decorative arts over the centuries. They have a long and storied blacksmithing tradition, thus the many iron elements on doorways and entries. From the ancient to the Art Deco, there are always great surprises.
Doorknobs and other hardware are particularly visually appealing.
Le Marais is an arrondissement of central Paris that has long been known as the aristocratic district. It is actually the oldest district in Paris dating from well before the Middle Ages. It houses many of the oldest structures in the city and is home to Places des Vosges, the former royal apartments of King Henri and Louis XIII that were constructed in 1605. Once Versailles was built outside Paris by Louis XIV, the apartments were all but abandoned. The district today is a diverse, bustling neighborhood being home to a large portion of city's gay population and Jewish communities. There are many trendy restaurants, bars and all manner of shopping. I also find the Marais to be more affordable than some other districts based on hotel rates and dining. Nothing is cheap in Paris, but the Marais won't disappoint if you want to see the "real" unvarnished city. Check out the home of medieval alchemist Nicolas Flamel which houses a fine restaurant. It's the oldest standing house in the city dating to the early 15th century.
A great web site is www.parismarais.com that provides a plethora of information about the district. They have great links to restaurants/bars and their selected hotels are beyond fabulous.