Something Beautiful is a self-imposed initiative to find a visual feast for each day of the year.
Paris. Day 1-Back to first impressions of walking up the Rue St. Michelle and the first glimpses of the Seine, Isle de la Cite, and Notre Dame.
Mental models are funny things. I have known of the great Notre Dame cathedral since childhood. School was probably my first introduction, but my first memory is the shock, despair, and sadness of watching the 1939 film “Hunchback of Notre Dame” with Charles Laughton and Maureen O’Hara. On my mental map, the great church faced the Seine on the Rive Droite. In truth, it is situated on the Ile de la Cite facing upriver to the west. It is very strange after all these years to realize that my picture was wrong. In fact, I have thought it might be an interesting project to paint my mental maps of places that don’t align with my mental maps.
On this trip, I particularly enjoyed finding a different view of famous sites—a perspective not usually found. Everyone one looks to get the best angle or, for the vain, our “best side.” Capturing that not quite “perfect” view gets closer to the truth of a person or place—at least, that’s what I feel. Which is why I liked this peek at the church from around a point in the river. I liked the dark sky which reminded me of the angst of Quasi Modo wailing from the bell tower. I also liked the stark shot up the building facade—a dramatic sense of scale. Beautiful perspectives of a beautiful building.