An Open Book

“Thou art alive still while thy book doth live, and we have wits to read and praise to give.”  –William Shakespeare–

Paris is a huge city, so crowded, so busy.


 Sometimes it’s difficult to see beyond the milling throngs.


But the city is an open book.

Its stories are there for all to read…

In a gesture.

Or a smile.

Or a sigh.

Life is happening all around.

So many faces…

…and each one…

…tells a story.

All images and words copyright Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of Thursday’s Special: Street Portraits.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life


  1. Many years since I was there. Certainly you have to scoot away from the crowds to see Paris at its best. Favourite images I recall were a midnight cruise on a Bateau Mouche in the rain, and dinner at La Coupole. Oh, and the Rolling Stones in concert but they were a bit English!

    I think your pic of the chap reading his paper, not caring if he gets a customer or not, is perfect.

    1. Hi Naomi,
      Until I stumbled across this bridge in Paris, I knew only of Lucchetti d’Amore in Florence. Locks of Love. One goes with one’s lover, attaches a padlock to the bridge, and throws the key into the river to symbolize their everlasting love. It’s certainly a sweet sentiment. On Ponte Vecchio in Florence, every so often they remove them, but before they are done at one end of the bridge, there are more locks already attached to the other end.
      Thanks so much for the visit. It’s always good to hear from you.

  2. What delightful photos of the people of Paris – a side of the city rarely portrayed. You have captured some lovely images here.

  3. wonderful post, Naomi! I’ve never been to Paris but hope someday to go. Your photos and observations and poetry make the city of light just a little bit closer…thank you for that 🙂

    1. Dear Kathy,
      You are too kind! It is good to be in touch. I look forward to good coffee, good company, and some good writing time with you. See you soon!

  4. What lovely photos! Although I live in the States now, I’m originally from Paris and miss it from time to time. It always felt like a big village to me, relatively uncrowded, haha. Except for the metro at times. I love the photos of the man reading the newspaper and the one of the father and the little boy.

    1. Dear Letizia,
      Thank you so much for the visit, and for your generous response. It is so interesting that you are from Paris. Have you been in the States long? I feel like Seattle is more a series of little neighborhoods, and I love that feeling.

      1. We moved to the States about seven years ago. I’ve been to Seattle a few times and know what you mean by the little neighborhoods. It’s a lovely city. And every time I’ve gone, it’s been sunny 🙂

  5. This is an exquisite interpretation of Paris. I love and miss it. D can no longer travel. I hope that will change and that we can return. Thank you for this lovely trip. Thank you too for your cogent comments upon my blog – hugs, Liz

    1. Hi Liz
      Thank you for your generous response. I hope that D improves, and that you get to Paris. Thank you for coming along a la blog!
      I enjoy your blog, and thought your last post was outstanding.

  6. My favorite picture here is the man reading the newspaper. So simple, but so beautiful and intimate. The child carrying the doll, walking by the set of legs also has that intimacy and it has nice balance and forward momentum. You have a great eye, and an open heart, and it all shows in your photos and your blogs.

    1. HI Maureen,
      Thank you for the visit, and for taking the time to share your very generous response. As a writer, you also recognize the stories everywhere, and capture them with your words.
      Best wishes,

  7. So many images I saw on the streets of Glasgow, but that was last week’s challenge! Oh, well- I’ll catch up some day 🙂 Best just to live life, isn’t it? Thanks for your visit, Naomi.

    1. Dear Jo,
      I hear ya! I am trying so hard to catch up with my blog, and I just don’t know how people do it. I love your idea–yes, best just to catch up with life! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  8. Loved the details that you featured, the differences between people and the way we are all connected, too. Each image does tell a story! This was lovely, Naomi!

  9. Now I haven’t been to many places, but Paris is somewhere I have visited — a long time ago, travelling on what they called “The Magic Bus” to get there! When I was there, I hung out with a load of penniless artists. It is a city of chaos and colour, but an amazing place. Parisian drivers are terrible.

    1. Dear Sarah,
      What a time that must have been! I cannot imagine a better crowd to hang out with while in Paris! (The stuff of novels, I imagine). Thanks so much for the visit, and for sharing your story. It makes me want to hear more of them.

  10. Nice street photography. You know I smiled when I saw those parakeet faces. What pretty colors they are!

    1. Hi Patti,
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for taking the time to comment. The parakeets reminded me of the passengers on the subway, all so alike at a glance, but personality shining through each one. I appreciate your kind words.

    1. Spring time in Paris, mais oui! Have a wonderful time. I’m sure you have a list of things you want to see. Thanks so much for the visit and for sharing your news. I hope you’ll post some pictures and stories about it when you get back. Bon voyage!

  11. It took a day or so to acclimatize to Paris though it’s an enchanting city. The smell (summer) was a bit overwhelming compared to the freshness of cities like Edinburgh etc. But I loved the architecture, food and history!!

    1. I enjoy Paris, which has so much history, and certainly has its own personality. When it comes to big capital cities, I like to visit the museums and national treasures and historic sites where so much of that history took place, and then I head for the hills–stone cottages, thatched roofs, little country walks between villages.
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for sharing your perspective. I have visited Paris in the summer heat, and I know what you mean!

    1. Thank you, Jamie. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I am happy if I can tell one story, or to raise a few questions and possibilities with each.

  12. I still have praise to give 🙂 I like the view of a metro and street in one shot very much, but that kid with a doll and a father figure suits street portraits more so I will display that one. I am glad you have joined me with this challenge Naomi. Thank you.

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