The recollection of a city is not unlike a patchwork, a rich juxtaposition of memories, images and sounds stitched into a pattern. When the garment is concluded, the souvenir of the place is ready for evocation, with no small assistance from the photos we have taken.
Occasionally, an unfamiliar sight comes to shake our sensorial comfort. Is this the city I know? Witness the cathedral of Saint Alexandre Nevsky, flanked by two imposing Haussmannian apartment buildings, raising its muscovite inspiration amidst the most emblematic Parisian architecture of the 19th. century. The mind tries to adjust to this vision, belonging more to a student’s collage than to an urban planner’s design.
Glimpses of other serendipitous corners are not scarce. A medieval dwelling, on the Rue François Miron, one of a small number still standing in Paris, has a pot-bellied profile viewed from the Rue de Rivoli. An upside down parked bicycle heightens the whimsical ensemble.
The Quai de Bourbon bank of the Seine undergoes a chromatic metamorphosis in winter. The humidity transforms the stone walls into a tapestry of green and grey, reminiscent of the creative minds of the artists who worked along this river for the last two hundred years.
And then, there are black and white moments, immemorial and dreamy. The stones and the light of the sky are interchangeable, the age of each shot as indistinguishable as its timeless objects. The patchwork keeps assembling its own dream.