12 Hours in Paris

Dear Christophe

The first time I went to Paris, I was an eager, curious, poor and naïve traveller. I slept on station floors, ate dry bread with smelly old cheese and spent a lot of time drinking cheap red wine with interesting strangers.

Twenty years on, I found myself back in Paris for a day, with you as my host, and a city that beckoned. This time, the smell, the feel, the structures, the history, and yes, the way the French go about their daily lives, seduced me as the hours passed.

The time, I savoured the rare red wine we shared, in a restaurant that was built in 1792. I felt the awe of the Louvre, the wonder of the Sacre Coeur. I flung my arms into the air at Montmartre and pressed my cheek against the façade of the Arc d’Triomphe. I marveled at the architecture of the Georges Pompidou building and gazed out from the Eiffel Tower.

And as the day gave way to evening, I ambled down the side streets, smelt the fresh fish and baked bread. I saw colour and life and listened to the folk laugh and converse with abandoned vigour. It was as if nothing, yet everything had changed in those twenty years.

I simply immersed myself into the layers of your city.

These photographs are for you.
With thanks.

Sandy Coffey ~ Photographic Commissions

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