When people ask why I love Paris as much as I do, often my answer involves a slew of stutters and fragmented points: History… err…lifestyle…oops, no… bridges…ah… esthetic… art… baguettes. Baguettes! Unfailingly, a tsunami of ideas rush my brain faster than I can manage to speak. Suddenly, I’m mentally compiling a dissertation that feels impossible to articulate to anyone outside of my head. However, recently I discovered an expat who siphons all of my favorite nuances of Paris onto one platform. Corey Frye, author of the aptly-named website, A French Frye in Paris, may be notoriously known for his Paris tours, but to francophiles such as yours truly, his work behind the camera lens carries some impeccable talent. With this extraordinary ability to capture the city’s truest identity through its subtleties, Corey’s website boasts a collection of imagery that will give the average person instant Parisian wanderlust.
As a follower of A French Frye in Paris, I have been curious to learn which of these images were most important to Corey, a self-proclaimed Paris devotee. With such an extensive assortment of beautiful photographs, I challenged him with the task of picking his five favorites as part of the “Expats We Love” series. His response? I’ll let you explore that below! Although, a fair warning if you live outside of France- hide your credit card. After reading Corey’s thoughts, you might find yourself booking the first red-eye to Paris!
Montmartre street & Sacré-Coeur:
“Nowhere does one street embody an entire neighborhood like Rue de l’Abreuvoir. It’s my favorite street in Montmartre. This view reminds me of so many great things about the area: a meandering path up the hill, quaint country architecture, a contemplative stillness, and colors that would be at home on an Impressionist’s palette. And on the horizon just enough Sacré-Coeur to draw you upward in anticipation.
Compositionally I like how the leaves at the top add a sense of coziness, as if we’re peering out from a comfy grotto and wondering if we’re ready to step out into the world. Or maybe we’ll just sit back and enjoy the theater of Montmartre a bit longer.”
Scooter in the Sun:
“If the Canal Saint-Martin was a filet mignon it would be perfectly medium-rare these days. The area has been revamped just enough to be charming, without being overdone with chain stores and busloads of tourists. I don’t suspect this will last, so I count my blessings whenever walking the canal.
This shot was taken in winter when the Paris sun hangs low and does marvelous things. The atmosphere itself becomes one of the characters, which is a good thing because a photo of a café and a scooter can slip quickly into cliché. For me this scene also speaks to the Parisian way of life, that classic idea of stopping to relax and watch the world go by. A good reminder for us all.”
Man Feeding Swans:
“This was taken after the attacks of November 2015 and was part of my blog post Rewriting My Love Letter to Paris. Following such a painful blow to my city I’d taken a stroll along Ile Saint-Louis to reconnect with Paris and, if I’m honest, to see if it had changed.
I was so fortunate to find this moment, where the simplest of life’s little pleasures played out against a timeless and immovable backdrop. It was exactly what I needed to see and a reminder that the magic of Paris isn’t going anywhere, no matter what anyone does to it. This gentleman probably thinks he was just feeding swans that day. But he was also helping a fellow Parisian remember what’s important.”
Wine glass & Eiffel Tower:
“This one is as much about the story as the image itself. One of the most charming secrets of Paris is the small vineyard on the hill of Montmartre. But so little wine is produced, you can only taste it by attending the yearly wine festival in October. This photo represents my small personal victory of finally getting a glass!
How did it taste? About as good as its reputation – not very great. But clearly it’s more about the experience of drinking the world’s only Parisian wine, with a view of the Eiffel Tower to boot. You can see more of the wine festival via my blog post La Vie en Rosé: Celebrating the Wine of Montmartre.”
Fountain in the Sun:
“As much as I enjoy the city’s small details sometimes you’ve got to slap on the wide-angle lens and take in the grandeur of it all. The open spaces of Place de la Concorde lend themselves to this idea, and here we’re looking at the 19th century fountains that give the area its regal flare.
The sky was stormy one minute and sunny the next; between drizzly squalls there were moments of calm that cast a theatrical lighting over the royal square. It seemed a fitting ambience for this former site of the guillotine, when during the French Revolution heads were flying off “like roof shingles in a hurricane” according to the public prosecutor. Luckily Parisians have chilled out since then (except for when they’re driving around this fountain!).
For me the charm of Paris is made up of these fleeting little moments, and I’m helplessly addicted to seeking out the next, and the next. Thanks to À La Prochaine for allowing me to share some of my favorites.”
Fleeting little moments. That is why I love Paris, perfectly phrased. Friends, how is anyone still reading this? We should all be busy booking our plane tickets to Paris. While we’re there, we might as well reserve one of Corey’s tours, right? At any rate, Corey, merci for accepting today’s challenge and for being an expat we love!
À La Prochaine!
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