A Unique Look at Paris
I have the (the!!!) most beautiful book sitting on my desk. It’s about Paris (naturally), and is a completely new look at an ancient, much photographed city – through its bridges, glowing, at night.
The Glow of Paris: The Bridges of Paris at Night is written and photographed by Gary Zuercher. I have a complete book review and author interview over at my regular column at Transitions Abroad – and here’s an excerpt:
The Glow of Paris is an extraordinarily beautiful book of photographs that reveals a new side to Paris — one that, I imagine, few of us have ever seen. It’s lovely to see Paris in a new light, so to speak. The book, written and photographed by Gary Zuercher, is the best book photography book I’ve ever seen. But it’s so much more than that. This book combines history, geography, architecture, engineering, and art. It teaches us to look at Paris with new eyes, and instills in us an appreciation for these bridges — ordinary structures during the day, that allow the movement of people, cars, bikes, boats.
We learn of the history of each bridge, stories, details, insider information. And then, oh then, we see. We see a strange Paris, with no people or cars. The streets are empty, and Paris starts to reveal herself. Each bridge is a work of art. We forget that, when we hurry and scurry. Each bridge is packed with history, meaning, artisanship, and is, always, something to cross the Seine. That purpose shines clear here, as do the dreams that we all carry of Paris. This book? Paris — a Paris we didn’t know existed — comes alive.
I also asked Gary a few more questions – I can’t get enough of Paris!
Here’s what he had to say…
There's something magical about Paris at night, which you've caught so beautifully. What were some surprising things you found, while on your photographic journeys?
The serenity of being down close to the river, especially in wintertime. Being able, so to speak, to communicate with the river and communicating with the history of the bridges. The absence of people contributes to the serenity of the surroundings. This feeling relates exactly to your question when you mention, “. . . something magical at night . . .”, there is a magic that is offered by both the river and the bridges. It cannot be found anywhere else.
A view of the Pont Neuf from upstream with the Insitut de France and the Eiffel tower in the background. The Insitut de France is a learned society, grouping five académies, the most famous of which is the Académie Française.
What are some nighttime highlights from your walks that you can suggest to your readers?
Stroll the river at night with your lover, walk down by the water level, not the upper
level, think of the history of the bridges and what it means, go when it’s cold (dress warmly), hold hands and savour the moment, it is a moment to be remembered. It is Paris, the Seine and the bridges, there is no comparison.
Pont de la Concorde Here looking from the right bank to the left and to the building and entrance of the Assemblée Nationale
Paris tip: What's your favorite way to see the Seine and the bridges - by foot, boat, or...??
My favorite way is by foot and, as you can see from my previous answer, during the
Winter and at night. It can be early at night or late at night, it makes little difference, but open your eyes and look - and see; it is beauty to behold.
Pont de Grenelle Grenelle is a fairly modern bridge which passes across the downstream tip of the Île des Cygnes (Island of Swans) connecting the two banks of the river. Here, with the Eiffel tower in the background sits the Statue of Liberty, a one-fourth size replica of its sister statue in New York Harbor, both created by the famous sculptor Auguste Bartholdi.
Click here to see more of Zuercher's stunning photos - and his Paris tips - in our review and author interview at Transitions Abroad.
Photos furnished for publication by Diario Las Americas, courtesy and Copyright Gary Zuercher
Note: we received a review copy of this gorgeous, gorgeous book. Thank you!