Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Impressions

First impressions are always so important. My first few moments in Paris set the stage for a week (well, 5 days ) of continual amazement. I kept exclaiming 'Everything is just so perfect, like a postcard!' and I meant it. I arrived from the airport at 8am to the local RER stop near our first hotel in St. Germain Des Pres, St Michel Notre Dame. I came up the subway station to be greeted by none other than Notre Dame, hence the name I guess -but it was so unexpected! I took the first picture of this post within seconds of my arrival! The other half of the RER stop name comes from St. Michel - the name of the boulevard it's located on. This amazing fountain is located right at the stop - Fountain St. Michel. Can I have asked for a more beautiful arrival point?
Just an amazing fountain! Love those pink marble columns.
I started off down the road along the Seine towards our hotel. This impressive building is on the Ile de La Cite (the official center of Paris, where Notre Dame lies), the Palais de Justice. Funny story from our trip - the Palais de Justice was incredibly huge and impressive and we passed it numerous times each day. Every time Heather would forget and ask 'whats that place?' (sorry Heather, it was too cute not to share!).I was surprised by the scale of the city right off -much smaller than anticipated: human scale. Such a comfortable city and easy to walk around. After living in DC for years, I've grown accustomed to LARGE rivers, but the Seine, at least in this location, is practically a scenic canal.While most of central Paris is very neoclassical, thanks to age and Haussmann, I fell in love with the juxtopositions of the scarce modern with the classical (not a surprise coming from me, right?). Many of these grand buildings along the Seine retain their classical shell but then surprise you with a very modern penthouse apartment on the top. Imagine the views!A classical door surround, again taken within moments of arriving, featuring caryatids. Notice how the building seems balanced but is not symmetrical! I didn't notice this at first!Lastly, I'll leave you with this beautiful old mansion nestled along the Seine. I have to say, St. Germain Des Pres was our favorite neighborhood in the city and you can see why!

22 comments:

Terry said...

Keep it coming.

Suzy said...

You both have great taste - that's my favorite part too! Can't wait to see more of your pics!

Blue said...

Isn't it beautiful? We love it and occasionally talk about moving there but as much as I like it I really don't want to move house again. Great photos - I especially like yesterday's. Look forward to many more! Oh, and welcome home.

Cote de Texas said...

more! this is fabulous - your pictures are good, what are you complaining about???? I love them!

pve design said...

Leaves me feeling "wish I was there" - You captured the Architecture and Design of Paris so impressionistically. Belle vie!
pve

Kwana said...

Oh there is just so much to love. Great pics. Thanks.

Style Redux 2 said...

Really lovely-wow!

home before dark said...

I always love it when reality is better than dreams. Wonderful photos!

Toby Worthington said...

Have been eagerly anticipating this post and it was worth the wait. You're taking us step by step. Love it.

Habitually Chic said...

Ha! I think I just couldn't get used to the fact that a police station could be housed in such a beautiful building!

Style Court said...

Stefan,

Like Terry I want more! Great tour. Loved your observation about the juxtaposition of modern with classical.

Janet said...

I love all those old buildings nestled in between...somehow defying Haussmann's grand plan!

Prairie Girl Studio said...

i knew it would be a jaw-dropping experience for you ... it is just all so much more magnificent and mind blowing in real life ... you can't help but feel the immense history and be in awe of that kind of architecture and how it was achieved in 'those days' ... love your images and looking forward to more ...
prairiegirl

Landscape Designer said...

Welcome home Stefan! So good to watch Paris unfold through your eyes!
Hope you had a few Ladurees for me too!!
Sandra

Renee Finberg said...

these pics are so very paris.
the shots were taken at just the right time of day with all the right shades of blue and limestone.

thank you for you sweet comment.
xx hugs

YSLGuy said...

Gorgeous pictures!! Have an award for you on my blog!

Semigloss Chic said...

So glad you're back, though I'm sure you wish you were still there. Love the posts, can't wait for more!

lady jicky said...

That is my favourite area too.
Lovely photos !!!!!!!

Renee Finberg said...

S
i did a painting for my daughter's apartment.
it was of the same group of buildings you have photographed.
...the one with the penthouse and the all glass enclosure.

xx have a chocolate croissant for me please.

VictoriaArt said...

Your Paris pictures are wonderful, love your view points and your little comments too. Is there more?

A friend just moved to Paris and we will go and visit, we can't wait. Your pictures make me want to go now!
Thank you for sharing these already!
Hope you jet lag is over!

Oliveaux said...

Love all your pics! St Germain is one of my favorite areas. I am heading over there again next year...cannot wait!

M Denise C said...

Loving your pics! Thanks for posting and can't wait for more . . . Already viewed the shopping ones, too!