Sous la Pluie

Rue du Général Camou

Eiffel Tower reflection

Actually, Paris is most beautiful in the rain.

This is what my last day in Paris looked like. The morning started off gray and rainy, as I made my way down to the Champs de Mars to say goodbye to my girlfriend. Parisians are insouciant when it comes to the rain; I’d say only half of them carry umbrellas (always black), the others turn their collars up and continue about their day. Some wear hats, or if it is a truly heavy downpour, they’ll take refuge under a shop awning until it passes. It always passes. It’s just a little rain, after all. And if meteorological events elsewhere had the added effect of making everything look even more beautiful and charming, I dare say a lot more people would stop griping every time it drizzles.

The most magical thing happened on that particular Sunday morning though: within minutes –literally, minutes– of arriving at the Tower, the sky changed to the most radiant and blinding blue I’d ever seen. Big, fluffy white clouds rolled in, and the sun reappeared. It was almost as if the weather gods knew it was my last full day there and wanted to make it special. It was disarming. I’ll share pictures on Wednesday so you can see, but here is an Instagram I snapped no more than fifteen minutes after the above photos.

I bid a teary farewell to my sweet Iron lady, and walked to Rue des Ecoles to meet Süsk & Banoo for a date at Breakfast in America, an American owned and operated diner with two locations in Paris. There are posters for “Friends” and “Goodfellas” on the wall, free refills on coffee, and, most importantly, breakfast is served all day. The owner has my dream job! We then walked the entire city, ending with a tour of Montmartre and a coffee at our favorite Marcel, before they headed back to their beautiful apartment near Ternes, and I finished some last minute packing. I flew out the next morning.

It was a bizarre and backwards feeling, that last night in my apartment, and I think I’m still sorting through my emotions about the trip as a whole. I love Paris in the rain and the sun, and getting to have both on my last day (and pancakes!) was so special. It was a satisfying, if bittersweet, send-off.

29 thoughts on “Sous la Pluie

  1. Your love for your girlfriend is inspiring. I get so used to seeing it that I sometimes forget to even *look* at la tour. Since meeting you though, I always give her a friendly nod as I pass on your behalf.

    The Paris Chamber of Commerce is missing a trick not hiring you to do the marketing for the city. Seriously. Your photos and descriptions make even a grumpy pseudo-Parisienne think it’s pretty special, and remind her to appreciate things more…instead of scooting by without noticing!

    1. D’aw, tell her I miss her and give her a big ole cuddle for me. Or don’t, you’ll almost definitely look crazy.

      And I’m counting on your Parisian connections to finagle a job at the CoC for me. Is there a position titled “Professional Adorer”? Because I could do that! I am perfectly suited to wander the city and adore it for 8 hours a day. I’ll even work overtime! Payment can be made in butter, merci xo

  2. there is such a romance to gray skies and rainy days, i can only imagine how much more dramatic they must be in paris. although your pictures do it quite a lot of justice – beautiful!

    1. You hit the nail on the head with the word “romance,” Lucinda. That’s exactly it. Thank you so much! xo

  3. Very, very bittersweet….


    And oh that first photo. Almost living too close. :-) But what a sight that must be, at night.


    1. Haha, is there such a thing as ‘too close’? I guess so. I’d want to live at a distance where I could see La Tour from my window, but not be right underneath it. To dream! xo

  4. I am in LOVE with the reflection of the Iron Lady in the puddle. This shot is gallery worthy….. It’s a must have piece.

  5. Loving something and leaving always makes me think of rain. I used to joke that every time I left Austin, it would always be raining (it just happens to rain a ton there). A little bit of weather can put you in an entirely different sort of mood. It feels so mercurial and unstable when it happens to me and the control freak in me rebels

    1. I guess we associate rain with sadness, but for me it’s always been something different. Hard to articulate what, exactly, but I do find it moody and beautiful. xo

  6. that restaurant cracked me up for some reason. i think i would definitely want to go there – i am guess one can probably find many american’s on any given day there.

    these photographs are so, so, so gorgeous. i think i am going to have to move these ones now up into my favorites of all time category. i hope that there is much joy and beauty for you at home too! Philly has actually always been on my shortlist of american cities i have wanted to visit. maybe once it cools down a bit :)

    and i must say that portlanders and Parisians seem to have one very special thing in common, the rain. i won’t say portland is MORE beautiful in the rain, but the rain can be so beautiful here. and non! we do not use umbrellas. turned up collars. yes. standing under awnings. sometimes, usually we run. xoxo

    1. It’s so cute inside, and not too “theme-y” or anything. Well, maybe a little bit theme-y, but it’s a hit with locals!

      You have to come visit! Philly is great, and it has been a really mild summer so far. The fall is always beautiful, and while the grandeur of Paris can’t be beat (row houses don’t quite compare to Haussmann buildings!), I will always love my city the most. It’s my home. You must must must come visit! We all use umbrellas here though, I warn you. ;) xo

  7. I agree, rainy Paris is lovely. And true, I’ve never owned an umbrella while I was living there. Believe it or not, I bought my very first umbrella last year. I guess you don’t really have a choice when you live in England. :)

    1. Ha, if any country will make you break down and buy an umbrella, it would be England! Sorry, ‘brolly.’ :) xo

  8. I echo your mother’s sentiments about the second photograph. You need to have a gallery exhibit for all your photos. I believe you should become the official spokeswoman for Paris tourism; you’re ridiculously good at it!

    Hallelujah to restaurants that serve breakfast all day. Who says I only want pancakes and eggs in the morning? The nerve!

    1. Haha thank you Hillary! That’s incredibly kind. I wish someone in the Parisian tourism office would hire me. Can you imagine? My job responsibilities would include wandering the city and taking photos and reporting back. Best. Job. Ever.

      I’m with you! Breakfast foods are my favorite, and if I want pancakes for dinner, don’t stand in my way! :) xo

  9. so lovely. paris in the rain was really beautiful, as was sharing the awning of a corner flower shop with others waiting it out. and the same thing happened to me. the clouds disappeared creating the most beautiful sunny skies. paris has a way of teasing a girl to always want to come back for more.

    1. Always always. Paris is a smart city, it always turns it on for the tourists (and the locals). xo

  10. Je suis d’accord totalement avec le commentaire de ta maman, moi aussi J’adore cette photo ! Tu sais pourquoi il pleuvait juste avant que tu pars? Parce que Paris pleuré déjà ton absence :( xo

  11. The rain definitely adds a certain kind of moody dramatic beauty to the city. And I can’t believe those two photos were taken on the same day, let alone 15 minutes apart – incredible!

    1. Girl. Every day I wake up and think, “Is this the day I sell everything and hop on a plane with a one way ticket??” ;) xo

  12. Erin, you are one person who will ALWAYS have Paris. Thank you for sharing your beautiful images and your emotions about your beloved city.

    1. Thank you, sweetheart! I better always have Paris. I don’t know what I’d do without it. xo

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