A Moment in Time: Paris’ 6e Arrondissement

Paris near Rue Dauphine, 6e Arrondissement

I haven’t done a Featured Photo on Legal Nomads in a long while, mostly because the sheer density of what I was experiencing merited at least a full post. But in this quick trip through Europe, there have been a few small moments that stopped me in my tracks, and I want to share them.

6e arrondissement in Paris

This photo was taken walking on the Quai des Grands Augustins as I made my way to my 3rd meeting of the day. Something about the cobblestones and that lone waiter frantically checking his phone gave me pause, and I stopped to snap the photo.

The Grands Augustins is a street in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, and was actually the site where Louis XIII received the sacrament a mere hour after the assassination of his father Henry IV.

To the right of this passageway, the river Seine. To my back, Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A small village originally built around the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés around the mid 4th century, it spread along the banks of the Seine. As the abbey grew and its influence became greater, the buildings surrounding it grew too.

This quiet photo was one of my favourites from the trip.

Paris near Rue Dauphine, 6th Arrondissement

More to come from Paris this week, then Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Milan. In the interim, if you are looking for a great book about Paris, I highly recommend The Seven Ages of Paris, by Alastair Horne:

“Whereas London…has clear male orientations, and New York has a certain sexual ambivalence, has any sensible person ever doubted that Paris is fundamentally a woman?”  Thus begins Horne’s long love letter to Paris, starting with Caesar and Abélard and moving through the ages. Horne tackles the tumultuous history of Paris in a series of ambitious biographical essays, infused with captivating narrative and an attention to detail. The book skilfully blends the passionate politics of the city, with its art and music and scandalous royal class, resulting in a dense but enlightening book spanning Paris’ lifetime. As Maurice Druon notes in the forward to the book “Horne is everywhere and knows everything.” After reading this book, you cannot help but agree with Druon.


11 thoughts on “A Moment in Time: Paris’ 6e Arrondissement”

  1. Very beautiful Jodi! This is a classic image and has great contrast. Additionally, it takes me right there. I can imagine the smell and feel of the place just because of this photograph.

  2. Good work Jodi! That lone waiter … is he doing something while waiting (reading a book, checking his phone)?

    Constructive critique: I would have taken two steps back to frame this photo so as to include the entire arch in the foreground.

  3. Kirsten, Andi: Thanks for the compliments.

    Eugene: He’s checking his phone. The date he was expecting for the evening just turned him down. Or so he said after I took the picture and he lamented that women were difficult. The original had that arch but I cropped it out because the sky was too blown out for my liking.

  4. Gorgeous photo! I always forget to try taking black and white photos when I travel. They really are quite lovely, aren’t they? Very dramatic.

  5. Great shot Jodi! Don’t you just want to stay in Paris forever? I loved it there! Couldn’t believe how truly beautiful it was.

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