Random Flâneur



Rue Debelleyme


Abandoned Velib’


Blue Window


The Seine, towards Pont Louis Philippe


Montmartre rooftops




Sacré-Coeur Spire Top






Turning the past into the future (On Rue Saint-Sabin)


Waiting (on the Champs-Elysées)


The End is around the corner


Bistrot du Marais (Le Marché des Enfants Rouges)

Château Rouge, where I lived for 2 years, 20 years ago

I just can’t believe it has been 20 years.

After staying for a couple of months in a company-supplied apartment near the Château de Vincennes area (Southeast), I moved to 13, Rue de Suez near the Château Rouge métro (Northeast). It was, and is, an African and North African neighbourhood. People I worked with were relieved every day that I arrived (late) for work – they were worried I wouldn’t survive. While it was not what you think Paris is, it was a safe area – I never had any trouble and never saw a fight. The worst that happened, happened once: my roommate Yasmeen was whistled at.

I lived on the fifth floor – no elevator. I actually exercised for a bit (the Canadian Army 5BX method) and was so energetic that I ran up the stairs and sometimes found myself on the sixth floor!

I took a walk around the neighbourhood, and after 20 years, just like the rest of Paris, some things are the same and some things have changed. I’ve done this so you don’t have to.

There is a story about Oscar Wilde living (and dying, I think) in a hotel near here. I’ll have to do some research on this.

The entrance to métro Château Rouge, which I used every day for two years. There used to be a boulangerie here where I would buy two croissants every day for my journey to work. Because I was a regular customer, the croissant girl would slip an extra free croissant in the bag. When I said I didn’t need a third croissant, she would say to give it to the homeless – but I never found the homeless up at that hour!

The entrance to métro Château Rouge


The launderette I frequented is no more – it was very convenient, where I could have my clothes washed and folded for an unreasonable fee, though it seemed they beat the clothes to a pulp. It was the only launderette in which I saw someone reading the Holy Quran. Next to the launderette is this little resto, where one could find the cheapest couscous in the city.

au rendez-vous des amis


The market street, Rue Dejean

The market street, Rue Dejean


13, Rue de Suez. Tug on my coat-sleeve and I’ll tell you about a fire that broke out in the apartment next to mine.

13, Rue de Suez


Navel is an Indian resto on Rue de Suez (I can’t believe it’s still here). I was so excited to find an Indian restaurant five steps from home, but soon found that the Marks & Spencer frozen Indian meals tasted better!

Navel, specialités curry et tandoori


Shopfronts are quite different here (many are closed on Mondays).


Chez Willy & Fatou

Suez Bazar

Viande à Gogo


Two things that have changed: every shop is either a hair extension place or a mobile phone store.

Blvd Barbès is Mobile Central

Hair extensions


On the road

Antraigues-sur-Volane et le Pont de la Tourrasse

On the D578

On the D578

Cycling is very popular here. Anke and Bart bike up to 70 km of these up and down roads!

These two guys were probably not aware what was up ahead…

The Tour Cycliste Féminin International Ardèche went by us at a terrific speed!

Tour Cycliste Féminin International Ardèche

Tour Cycliste Féminin International Ardèche

Mont Gerbier de Jonc. The mountains of this area are remnants of volcanic craters. These geological formations are called “sucs”. Anke and Bob climbed this thing a couple of days ago!

Mont Gerbier de Jonc

Visiting Bart

Bart is a gentle, generous 55 year old Dutchman that has been visiting La Roche for 45 years. His house is isolated from the rest of the hamlet. He bought it a few years ago and has restored it on his own. He has no electricity but has a spring that provides excellent, healthy water. Everything has to be hauled up via a rocky path on the mountain, including the cast iron stoves!

Bart Huis

Faux-vintage interior scenes

Bart Huis interior



At the beginning of 1991 I began a two year work term in Paris. A few days after I arrived I participated in one of several anti-war rallies against the first American war in the Arabian Gulf (euphemistically called “The Gulf War”). The march took about three hours and while taking photographs and chanting some slogan or other, we passed monuments, famous buildings and streets – I saw Paris so differently than as a tourist.


Four Photographers - One Warrior - Peace For All

It didn’t take me long to fall in love with everything about Paris – except the attitude. Twenty years (and a few months) later Paris is still Paris and the attitude has improved tremendously.

I thought I’d blog about my twentieth anniversary visit. It will be composed mainly of photographs with some nostalgic musings about places revisited and perhaps some new surprises.