A Ninetieth Birthday Fête | Toledo, Ohio

There was a moment at my grandmother’s recent ninetieth birthday party, as I looked around the ballroom full of laughing people, when I realized that my grandparents were more popular than I was. And you know what? That’s pretty damn cool.

My grandmother, who’s been described as “feisty” and has a serious penchant for biographies, is much deserving of this kind of celebration. I still remember my first days as a college graduate living in Virginia, when we would exchange postcards and she would regale me with stories of her days as a young woman in Charlottesville. My grandfather, just a couple months shy of ninety himself, has always been unfailingly encouraging of my photography, sending words of praise along regularly from two states away, and always making me feel like this little hobby of mine is worth pursuing. I was honored when they asked if I’d document this evening, and even more so as the day came and guests started streaming in, huge smiles adorning their faces.

There was just so much joy to be captured that night. But why take my word for it? See for yourself.

Camera: Mamiya 645AF
Film: Ilford Delta 3200

Falafel, Falafel, Falafel | Rue des Rosiers, Paris

I arrived in Paris having been awake for twenty-four hours, and as I ascended the Metro escalator at Hôtel de Ville, I was certain that my first order of French business would be to fall, unconscious, into my hotel room bed.

But when I emerged from underground, I was met with such awe-inspiring surroundings—the impossibly classic French architecture that looks lovely in photographs, but overwhelmingly, jaw-droppingly majestic in person—that I stayed awake for another twelve hours, snapping photos, eating scoops of salted caramel ice cream from Berthillon, and discovering the little 4th-arrondissement neighborhood that would be mine for not-long-enough.

Just around the corner from the hotel was the best surprise: a stretch of avenue staffed by Jewish proprietors. Falafel was advertised on every other restaurant window, and six-pointed stars were flanked with French text about gefilte fish. The Rue des Rosiers, it turned out, was a delightful melting pot that I hadn’t known to look for—a little enclave that served as the most convincing argument for getting lost in a new city.

Camera: Mamiya 645AF
Film: Kodak Portra 400

Montmartre | Paris, France

In August, I took one weeklong vacation that felt like three distinct trips. I spent the first few whirlwind days in Paris with my family; then, I jetted—or, more accurately, rolled—off to Barcelona via high-speed train, where I spent a few days each with two dear friends. All the while, I was snapping my way through seventeen rolls of film. For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the fruits of that international labor with you.

Today, I’d like to bring you along on a walk I took with my dad through the neighborhood of Montmartre. Fueled by the best slice of plum torte we’d ever eaten, we explored the eerie, candlelit halls of the Palais Garnier—the city’s opera house—and summited the steep hill crowned by the Sacré Coeur, where we were rewarded with panoramic views of a city bathed in golden late-afternoon light.

It was the nicest father-daughter stroll I could’ve asked for. And the fact that it happened in Paris? Well, that was quite the bonus, indeed.

Camera: Mamiya 645AF
Film: Kodak Portra 400 and 160