November in Paris brings two things. Cold gray damp weather and Mois de Photo. (Month of Photography) It no doubt was the same kind of irrational hubris that Austin concocted Aqua Fest as an incentive for tourists to visit Austin in August that Paris developed Mois de Photo to uplift sagging tourists dollars in November. Aqua Fest died of a heat stroke. Mois de Photo is a huge success but Paris does have a few advantages. I am here for two weeks with my latest photographic compulsive obsession dreaming magically that someone will ask me what is my box.
Austin in August has as much appeal as being a pig with an invitation to an outdoor barbeque while November in Paris has as much appeal as being an oyster with an invitation to the Arctic Sea. I’ve seen the sun once in ten days. Daylight pierces the translucent cold damp blanket overhead creating an ambient light that is full, bright, yet soft and piercingly cold illuminating all of Paris? ugly sores. Ubiquitous garbage. Pollution. Beautiful mysterious Paris disappears. People bundled with scarves bent against the wind lethargic shuffle towards unknown stronger attractions than staying warm. I’ve taken refuge in photo galleries and museums.l
Even at this time of the year night falls slowly in Paris. Fading light elicits a hasty retreat to my warm apartment or hotel. I dreaded being out after dark reasoning that if it were so miserable during the day the night could only be worse. Returning on a slow crowded metro, trapped. Caught. Wrong. The city is alive! Darkness reveals mystery and magic. People everywhere, rushing here and there, excited conversations on the streets outside of bars, music oozing from every door and the light! Colored lights on the damp cobblestones as if they were jewels loosely scattered in a velvet-lined box. Dancing shadows are long and rimmed with colored light. Fog and full moon become icing on the cake. If I were a vampire, this is where I would bury myself. I rush for my camera. Walking the streets I discover that our newly elected POTUS is very popular in Paris.
Attempting to shame the French, (who have none and likely never will), Washington created “Freedom Fries”. Paris created the “Obama Pizza” to honor the POTUS Obama. Connect the dots? This is France.