Paris is, among other things, a place to think. She just keeps coming at you with new experiences and new emotions. It is hard to ignore her. Eventually it just fills you up and you need time to let it all find its place in your mind. You can't see it in this picture but I am sitting on an old wooden bench in front of Shakespeare & Company. This is a good place to sit in the early morning. It is emblematic of Paris. The oldest church in Paris, St Julien Le Pauvre is just to my right. In the Square Viviani just behind the church is the oldest tree in Paris, held up by concrete crutches. I lean back against the wall of Shakespeare & Company and look across the Seine at Notre Dame, no youngster herself. Newer, yet still quite old is the Wallace fountain standing just in front of me. I don't know when this one was placed here but I'll guess around 1885. When I first came to Paris in 1989 you could still get a cot and sleep for free at Shakespeare & Company. It is not the original Sylvia Beach bookstore but it was a refuge for me in my early years here before I could read French. I bought many books here and got the store's imprint on the first page. As I got more comfortable here I drifted away except for these brief moments of rest and thought. The light is especially nice today with that special vividness apparent when the sun light sneaks under the dark gray rain clouds. I don't remember what I was thinking about this day but of the many hundreds of times that I tried to capture this image, on this day it worked for me.