I arrived in Paris having been awake for twenty-four hours, and as I ascended the Metro escalator at Hôtel de Ville, I was certain that my first order of French business would be to fall, unconscious, into my hotel room bed.
But when I emerged from underground, I was met with such awe-inspiring surroundings—the impossibly classic French architecture that looks lovely in photographs, but overwhelmingly, jaw-droppingly majestic in person—that I stayed awake for another twelve hours, snapping photos, eating scoops of salted caramel ice cream from Berthillon, and discovering the little 4th-arrondissement neighborhood that would be mine for not-long-enough.
Just around the corner from the hotel was the best surprise: a stretch of avenue staffed by Jewish proprietors. Falafel was advertised on every other restaurant window, and six-pointed stars were flanked with French text about gefilte fish. The Rue des Rosiers, it turned out, was a delightful melting pot that I hadn’t known to look for—a little enclave that served as the most convincing argument for getting lost in a new city.
Camera: Mamiya 645AF
Film: Kodak Portra 400