The Problem With Paris


I think Paris is hot. Smoking hot.

But it’s problematic too.

Par example, it makes me cRaZy when I’m out and about in the City of Light, and my eyeballs flick back and forth from one thing to another, and I constantly see beauty in all of Paris’ nooks and crannies. (Even in the chairs in the Métro.) And then I stop in my tracks and snap my very own version of a beautiful photo with my smartphone…no matter how much of a hurry I think I’m in. Sometimes I’ll even wait five ten minutes for the perfect shot. Like with this umbrella photo.


On this rainy night, I stepped out from underneath the umbrella my husband and I were sharing as we took a romantic stroll down Rue de Rivoli and said my standard “Be right back” and ran down a side street in Le Marais. (He’s used to it.) I stood in the pouring rain until the imagery looked just right in my non-professional photographer’s brain. And then I took the shot – click, click, click – and ran back under the umbrella with a smile on my face, sopping wet.

And whodathunkit, but today, I received an email from a painter in Poland who saw my umbrella photo on Facebook and asked if he could use it as the inspiration for a painting. Social media is amazing. How else can an artist in another European country see a random Facebook photo (via Instagram) from an American traipsing about Paris? That is just too, too cool. And even if it’s bogus, it made me feel good. And yes, I said yes.

But wait. I did it again today too.

Saw a turquoise blue door and said to my guy “Hold on, be right back.” He was already several feet ahead of me, but he just did his standard, and stopped. And then I waited for the people on foot to walk by that pretty blue door and waited for the cars driving by to drive by that pretty blue door so I could take my shot.

And then – surprise, surprise – I saw a peep of blue in my peripheral vision and it was a woman in a jacket close to the same color as the door. Oh my God, I thought. How synchronistic is this? So I waited. And she walked by. Click, click, click.

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See? Paris is problematic. I can’t go anywhere without stopping to take a photo. Not even the market. Not even waiting for the elevator.


Not even inside my rental apartment.


I’m a girl with a smartphone that likes to take pictures and share food photos and travel stories across social media channels. My husband and I can’t even walk down the street or eat a fine meal without me holding up progress. Maybe it’s me who’s problematic?


My husband’s oysters. He waited about 10 minutes before he could eat. LOL
Click on the image for Bodega Bay restaurant location.

Oh. And another thing: If you own a professional camera and you’re getting sucked into the beauty of Paris like I do daily, I still don’t think it is as problematic as carrying around a smartphone that’s way too easy to whip out at a moment’s notice. I will, however, have to give that a little more thought since carrying a camera around your neck looking like a tourist has been known to attract the local gypsies. In many cases, that could be a little problematic too.

Anywho. The problem for me is how the combination of beautiful Paris and my [obsession with my] nifty smartphone make me cRaZy.



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All of these photos were taken on my way somewhere. The truth is that I haven’t walked from Point A to Point B in Paris for the past five weeks without stopping at least once ten times to snap a photo. I would leave my smartphone at home, but then that would be just way too problematic.

Anyone else? Or is it just me?

13 thoughts on “The Problem With Paris

  1. I love this post. I am the exact same way… just thousands of photos of Paris. Every time I am there. It’s truly the most beautiful place and my home away from home. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I’m right there with ya and I’m just taking pics of FL or if I’m lucky NYC, if it was Paris I would never make it anywhere. My poor husband has gotten used to eating all of his food cold as he has to wait for me to get the right pic. I carry my “big” camera with me everywhere and take pics with both the phone and the camera and it takes forever. All of your photos are amazing, I felt I was in Paris with you for a minute or two.

  3. Tracy – you have a great eye! I am also an artist and wanted to contact you about repainting your umbrella shot! Who knows – maybe there will be several interpretations out there once you’ve fielded all of your requests. ; ) . I love paining ethereal landscapes. Something about your photo is evocative of the famous 1877 painting by Gustave Caillebotte currently in Chicago “Paris Street; Rainy Day” which I love. Check it out. I think you’ll like it!

    I may never get to it, be let me know if you’d be OK with me referencing your photo in a street scene of my own. You can see some of my artwork on my website (which I am seriously behind in updating.)

    • Thank you, Julia! You are the second artist asking to use my photo as inspiration, and I am VERY honored (and surprised). But yes, please do. I would love to see the end result.

      I’ve seen the Caillebotte image before many times. Maybe that’s where I subconsciously got my inspiration? Who knows. =)

      I’ll be sure to check out your site.

      Thanks again!

  4. Somehow I saw that beautiful “umbrella” picture as a painting, in fact it looks like a painting. You have a great eye and a talent for taking pictures.

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