In March of 1998 I visited Paris for the first time. I was there on assignment for Microsoft and like many Americans, fell in love with the city immediately. I had studied French in high school and would often sit in Mrs. Morgan’s French class and dream of living Paris. I saw myself walking down the Champs-Élysées in a light rain with autumn leaves underfoot. Being winter, there weren’t many tourists around, so we could roam the streets as if we were locals. It was the first of many trips over the next few years. We often traveled area the immediate area known as Il de France. I almost always traveled with Connie and often had assignments to complete. Through Connie I was introduced to Dona, who lived in Nemours, a little town south of Paris about 45 minutes by train. Dona would always welcome us and be a great host. She would take us to see sights or just loan us her car to travel on our own. Most of my photo heroes are French and I couldn’t help but see Il de France through their eyes, and in black and white as well. My Paris Photodisc editors loved my work and promoted me heavily. Said I didn’t photograph like an American. They told their clients I was French. I shot copious amounts of film there during that time. More than I could possibly print in the darkroom. So many of the images in this folio languished for years on contact sheets. And some of the images had problematic negatives and I could not successfully reproduce as silver prints. In 2019 I decided to create this work as a portfolio and scanned the old negatives. And with the aid of the digital darkroom, I was able to finally bring to life those problematic negs and other images that had never seen the light of day. The work represents a period of my life that was quite magical and rich with stories. To travel, to see things I had only see in art history books and meet interesting people and making lasting friends. And then there’s the food.