Monday, August 10, 2009

Pleasant Surprises

One of the things I love about walking around with a camera in my hand is you never know what you will find. What is around that corner, down that alley or behind those gates?

July 14th was my birthday and Bastille Day in France. I shared in an earlier post how my family honored my wish to walk around and take pictures that day. When I am by myself or with another photographer it’s easy and fun to just wander aimlessly looking for the next shot. When you are with your family it’s a different story. I felt like I needed a plan.

A good friend of mine gave me an early and very appropriate birthday gift before I left for Paris. It was a book titled – “Quiet Corners of Paris”. This book was filled with pictures of courtyards, gardens, churches and all sorts of places that really spoke to me. When I found a place in the book I wanted to visit, my husband would pull out the map and point us in the right direction.

Since my birthday was a national holiday in France, quite a few of the places I wanted to visit were closed. In addition, the book had been put together a few years before and there were some courtyards that had looked very enchanting in the book, but gates had been put up that only allowed access to residents. It was still fun and I took many photographs along the way. It was definitely a case where the journey was just as much fun as the destination.

On one of our first days in Paris I picked up this vintage postcard at one the stands along the Seine.

I knew this was a place I wanted to visit and hoped we would find the time.

Once we had exhausted all our options within the walking radius of our hotel, I decided I wanted to go to “the gates” - Parc Monceau . My husband pulled out the map again and to get to the park we had to get on the Metro and venture out a ways.

I was a little nervous, because while the gates looked great, I had no idea what we would find inside the park. Also, as much as I was enjoying being “queen” for the day, I was starting to feel a little guilty about dragging my family on this scavenger hunt.

When we got there it was pretty obvious that a shot of the gates would not be possible because of cars parked inside and outside the park. I didn’t really want to duplicate that photo anyway but I was a little afraid that what was inside would be disappointing.

Walking into the park and along the first little path, I turned a corner and this

was what I found.

©2009 Dianne Poinski

Jackpot! Relief and delight!

After what probably seemed like an eternity to my family, I told them I was finished shooting for the day but what I really wanted now - was an ├ęclair……………….


  1. Oh wow! Your very own secret garden, but on a massive scale. Beautiful!

    I love the vintage postcard, too.

    Hope the eclair was all you had dreamed of as well!

  2. Beautiful image! I bet your family enjoyed the adventure though...

  3. Thanks!

    Yes - it did seem like a secret garden except for all the people. I would have loved to have had that place to myself.

    I am pretty sure my family enjoy it as well - especially since they also got an eclair!