Secret Paris

The book Secret Paris sent me to many interesting but obscure sites nestled off the beaten path in Paris.  Not all were open or accessible.  But with a little patience, I found my way into some lovely spots that most tourists never see.

This was the first time I felt at home in Paris, and this little book helped a bit.  It helped me find some person-sized places.  It’s all too easy to see only the monumental scale sites of this city.  Paris is about monumentality and uniformity–especially along the boulevards. But he back streets and courtyards are often lively and quaint.

In Paris, sped some time avoiding the monuments. It’s much nicer to take a slow pace and find some nooks and crannies that you can call your own.

Here’s a sketch I made in one “secret” space of Paris… the courtyard of a set of 48 or so apartments northeast of the Opera.

Paris apartment complex sketch (1)

Perusing Paris

Hampton University sketches of Paris.

Hampton University sketching in Paris, on a rainy day.

Spent a lovely week in Paris, much of it with Hampton University’s architecture program.  I’ve attached a few of the pics I snapped with my iPhone.  I’m back in Dublin now, and  getting around to downloading the photos from my Nikon.  The photos will help me reminisce of my travels once I head back to the States.  I might even have time to write something meaningful on my blog once again….

For now, pictures will have to do!

DIY in Europe

I encountered some interesting new machines on my recent travels.  I love the customer survey device I stumbled upon in the Dublin airport. Was perplexed by the self ordering stand at McDonald’s though….

Drawing Conclusions in Paris

Sketching in Luxembourg Gardens

Sketching in Luxembourg Gardens

Pam Eddy and I attended the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET) International Conference on Higher Education yesterday. We each presented a paper. When the activities wound up, we headed out in different directions. Pam went to hear a lecture at UNESCO that she’s received a special invitation to attend and I went to study the architecture of Paris.

I sketched in the Luxembourg Gardens and in a church that I’d discovered two days before.

Pam and I met back up for dinner with Pam’s husband Dave. After dinner, we strolled through central Paris–discussing things we’d concluded about the city on our earlier explorations.

Fête de la Musique

fete 1The summer solstice brings throngs of Parisians to the streets. They sing, play, and dance the night away on the longest day of the year.  The annual event is called the “fête de la musique” or festival of music. I’ve shown pictures of some street performers, but there are also large-scale events. There were rock bands in St. Eustache all day long, for instance.

This year marked my second fête de la musique in Paris.  I was there as part of Hampton University’s architectural study abroad program… my colleague, Prof. Mason Andrews, always makes sure we get to be part of this fun cultural event.

Paris’ St. Eustache

The interior of St. Eustauche, in central Paris.

The interior of St. Eustache, in central Paris.

Stephanie Bossert Gupton, a friend from my days at Blacksburg High School who is now a professional photographer, responded to an image I posted on Facebook recently.  She asked me to post more, so here’s a start (thanks to a decent internet connection and a day to relax in Paris).

This is a panorama taken inside Paris’ church of St. Eustache.

As you can see, I have a lot of fun with my iPhone!