Tourist, Bastille Day, Leo & Woody

Got to do one of my favorite things during these last 2 weeks … be a tourist in my own city. A couple of my best friends came to town and we ate, laughed and explored pretty well. Had a chance to revisit the main attractions in Paris (Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre, Versailles, etc) as well as head up to Normandie (American Cemetery & war beaches, Deauville, Honfleur, Rouen).

Fountain at the Chateau de Versailles

It’s cool to revisit those places because it’s pretty rare that I see them these days without the instigation of some visitors. And it’s particularly wonderful to be with your close friends doing it.

Shot the annual Bastille Day military parade, which starts at the Arc de Triomphe, travels along the Champs-Elysees and ends in the Place de la Concorde. I was in the photographer’s tribune in Place de la Concorde and spent the first half of the day photographing soldiers and leaders from 13 former French colonies in Africa. These countries were invited to participate in the parade to celebrate their five decades of independence.

French paratroopers march in Bastille Day military parade

It was a pretty nice day, except for when without warning the skies opened up and a wall of water poured down from the heavens. Everyone and everything was completely soaked in about 5 seconds. Many photographers had their bags open on the ground (with expensive equipment in it) and the rains came so fast that the bags started to fill up before they could be closed. But we survived it and generally enjoyed the event.

French paratrooper lands in the Place de la Concorde

Leonardo Di Caprio was in town and joined up with his co-star Marion Cotillard for the French premiere of the film “Inception”. Nothing particularly interesting about the event except for my discussion with some French photographers trying to explain the difference between the words “inception” and “conception”.

Leonardo Di Caprio and Marion Cotillard at the French premiere of "Inception"

While out one night with my friends, we saw some white smoke coming from the Seine and thought that there had to be some big problem. We went to have a look and found out that it was just Woody Allen shooting his new movie “Midnight in Paris”, which oddly enough features the first lady Carla Bruni in it. It was like being in LA.

Woody Allen shooting his new movie along the Seine in Paris

Some photos of the week:

African soldiers march in Bastille Day military parade

Soldier or pastry chef?

Nicolas Sarkozy

Chateau de Versailles

Dinner with friends (identities protected by Mel Gibson)


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Annie on July 19, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Don’t you think paratroopers should paint their faces sky blue as camouflage instead of green and black?? :0)


    • Posted by parisweekly on July 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm

      Good point. They should actually have a sky blue layer on top and a camouflage layer below it. Like an Everlasting Gobstopper.


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