Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. More than two months after coming back from a short trip to London and Paris, I am surprised by how much the trip impacted the way I see urban spaces. Paris in particular took my eyes by storm. The central part of the city is beautiful in every direction. In most large cities, the monuments and historic buildings are usually well maintained. But in Paris, every street, every shop, everything is beautiful. We walked almost everywhere, hardly ever taking the metro, for fear of missing something above ground. We meandered through small side streets, dodged tourists on large boulevards and stopped often to take it all in and no matter where we were or what direction we looked, it was simply beautiful.
To illustrate the commitment, some might even call devotion to beauty; I present a small collection of pictures of front doors, from the streets of Paris and London. None of these buildings are famous and I think for the most part they are residential. But what I love is the celebration of color and attention to detail associated with something as simple as a front door. Ultimately, it made me think that there is a strong sense of pride and even love for one’s city when everyone participates in these simple aesthetic rituals. It also helped me to take notice of so many things in my own locale that I had never really seen before. Merci bien, Paris!
Colors: Doors of London and Paris
London – Somewhere near Covent Garden, if I recall correctly. It grabbed my eye as we walked through an otherwise commercial area, this door just popped up out of nowhere. It’s so bright, and I love the placement of the number and contrast of gold/blue.
London – this might be the one semi-famous doorway, which was of an old courthouse, somewhere close to Aldwych.
Paris – so regal! This is not a color I’ve ever noticed in my neighborhood, but seemed almost common place there. I love everything about this, the frame, the stonework above, the wrought iron circles, and the contrast between the gold door handles and the blue.
Paris – now that’s a front door! I was taken by the height, the shape, the existence of the windows and wrought iron gate above and of course the beautiful frame. What my travel partner also pointed out, is that the juxtaposition of the aqua car, red shop window and tan door are also an interesting composition. I agree!
Paris – even with the spots, the hunter green and the wrought iron work are gorgeous
London – the bricks and the frame give it away. This orangey-red is warm and inviting and contrast well with the weathered brick. I also love the half moon window. In this case, it’s black lettering, door knocker and door knob.