I’ve discovered that fall is my favorite season in Paris. Photographers love to shoot Paris at night or in the springtime so it’s pretty rare to find pictures of Paris in the fall. Google Images has only one photograph with fall foliage out of the 216 on the first results page. That’s 0.46% of the images! Well, here’s your glimpse of fall in Paris.
Last Saturday, we took a walk from the fantastic pedestrian-only Rue Montorgueil in the 2nd arrondisement to the Louvre. Eschewing the museum galleries themselves this time (and after temporarily getting distracted by the delights of the Mac Store and Starbucks in the Louvre shopping mall) we headed towards the Louvre courtyard and the Tuileries Gardens.
First stop: Coffee, hot chocolate and sorbet at Cafe Marly, which offers the best view of the Louvre (and a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower), great desserts and a collection of the best-looking people in Paris as your waiters and hostesses.
Then we headed into the Tuileries Gardens, casually strolling where Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI attempted to flee the guillotine. There was a curious white pavilion with a continuous facade of doors in the center of the garden. People constantly traversed in and out, curious about its purpose, but there was none to be found. The structure was also in a state of disrepair with the paint peeling, a broken light in the interior, and graffiti etched into the glass. It was almost deliberately out of place and I wondered if it was a new art installation, but I was informed it has been there for a long time and there was no descriptive plaque anywhere.
One of the most beautiful spots in the Tuileries is the elevated walkway on the Seine side of the gardens. On Saturday, a lone chair sat amidst piles of swirling leaves.
Finally we walked across the gardens towards Rue de Rivoli:
We ended at another curious building–Jean Nouvel’s readaptation of La Maison Ferembal, a nomadic structure designed by the Ateliers Jean Prouvé in 1948. The building was originally the office of the Ferembal Factory in Nancy, France. It building was installed in the Tuileries as part of the FIAC contemporary art festival. According to the website, Prouvé developed his own “‘constructive thinking’ based on a logic determined by function and manufacturing imperatives, resulting in an aesthetic devoid of artifice.” The irony of the building’s placement in the Jardin des Tuileries, a location of artifice and play, is so striking that any description is rendered unnecessary–only the contrast with its environment is needed. The interior is empty except for the original furniture constructed inside and a time-lapse video shows how it was installed in the gardens. Unheated, the structure is strangely warm.
I also came across this fall-inspired Vespa, encapsulating everything I have come to love about Paris in the fall!