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Waiting for Lower Water, Paris 1978

When I was in Paris in the spring the Seine was very high -- high enough that the river boats couldn't get under the bridges. There was a line of boats tied up on the Left Bank side that was at least a mile long.

I visited Paris in my college days, 1957, but only for a day and in August. It was very hot, there was a water shortage so the fountains were all dry and the Seine very low, many shops and museums were closed for vacation. Paris was definitely not at its best and I came away with a very dubious opinion of the City of Light.

In 1978 I had the good fortune to be sent to Paris on business for two weeks in the spring and two weeks in the fall. I was working long and hard but most evenings and weekends were my own. I quickly realized how wrong I had been all those years.

The photographs in this portfolio are my memories of those weeks in Paris. They are not of the monuments and the tourist attractions. Instead they are of the streets and people, the Paris of great humanist photographers such as Willy Ronis, Robert Doisneau, and Édouard Boubat who were then still roaming the streets just as I was.

"What's New" and my newsletter "The Occasional Rumour" are going on vacation, likely until September. They will be back.


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