In the Streets of Paris


Bent Van Looy


Photographed by Charlie de Keersmaeker



Having lived in Paris for ten years, it’s always a thrill to retrace my steps. Walking was pretty much my day job at the time, since I can only write in the streets. The streets of Paris are ideal for writing, the city is just big enough to get pleasantly lost in, but not too big so you can always find your way home. Before too long I noticed that, like the animals of the Savanna, I made my own pathways through the maze of the city. Rue Richelieu proved a favorite, it has just the right amount of light and air, sports the amazing Archives, a lovely park with spectacular fin de siècle cast iron fountain and leads straight into the historic heart of the city, like an artery of light.
The fact that at the end there are some lovely boutiques and the amazing Kunitoraya udon noodles, a stone’s throw away from little Todyo AKA Rue Ste Anne also helps.


Around the corner awaits a hidden gem, a Shangri la for the clothes horse, which I consider myself very much to be. Thousands of rolls of beautiful fabric, assembled over the decades bath quietly in the soft light which falls milky white from the glass ceiling. I can spend hours here, gushing over a houndstooth from outer Hebrides with fellow enthusiasts, in town for the day. The staggering collection of vintage cloth is absolutely magical, the rolls of fabric are like rolled up dreams, waiting to be stirred from their slumber to be made into a gorgeous polo coat or a spiffy suit and Virgile, the owner, couldn’t be more knowledgeable and charming.

To be continued...