The 68 th annual Magnum Photos party was strange for there were many famous photographers and no photos to be seen. And the uniform was unique ! A small camera on the shoulder seemed like the code to crash the party. By chance, I was carrying my freshly repaired Nikon and was very proud for that…The reason for my being there was the invitation extended by Richard Kalvar, a talented American photographer working in France, and a long time member of Magnum. Most people there, were speaking English and had flown from all over the world for the General Assembly where 6 new young nominees were coopted to join the small group of members who own the agency …
I had brought Maureen Dowd, the New York Times writer, who was just back from Cannes and in Paris for her column, and we sat quite a long time watching this group of adventurous, slightly nombrilistic and mostly men photographers. Martin Parr, this year’s President and my absolute hero, was talking amicably to everyone in a yellow checkered shirt. Bruno Barbey was among the most handsome. Agnès Sire who runs the Henri Cartier Bresson (a Magnum member with his wife Martine Franck) foundation was being greeted by everyone. Joseph Koudelka, Alec Soth, Harry Gruyaert, Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Paolo Pellegrin, Bruce Gilden, Jérôme Sessini and Cristina Garcia Rodero… They were all there with their different nationalities, and huge talent.
But the best moment of the evening was to sip a mojito at the terrace of the Pavillon du Lac, facing the fabulous trees of Parc des Buttes Chaumont, a very popular 19 th century garden North East of Paris. Maureen has the most original take on French life and has now become quite an expert on ministers and ambassadors! If you are here this summer, do go for dinner or drinks to this newly restored pavilion.
We ended the evening, driving along the hip Canal St Martin, all the way to 24 Place des Vosges at a new Italian café, under the arcades of the famous 16 th century place : « Ristretto ». This little hole in the wall has the most delicious tomato and burrata salad (three colours of tomatoes) and prosciutto and sausage. A nice Rosé made us very happy in the coolness of this hot summer evening.
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