In the Streets of Grasse with a Leica

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Roaming the streets of French cities with a Leica around your neck almost feels like you’ve travelled back in time. You start seeing things in a different way, and you start wishing you had an all-seeing eye (and four hands + two cameras), able to capture all the magic moments around you, at the same time.
One of the most unique old towns of the French cities I’ve visited so far is the one of Grasse, in the south of France. Grasse, to most tourists known as the birthplace of perfume, also exhibits a very different, nonetheless fascinating side, which I had the luck to experience.

Grasse, Old town Leica M6, Fuji Superia
Grasse, Old town
Leica M6, Fuji Superia
Cathédrale Notre-Dame-du-Puy. Grasse Leica M6, Fuji Superia
Cathédrale Notre-Dame-du-Puy. Grasse
Leica M6, Fuji Superia
The streets of Grasse are very very old. While all the perfume shops, museums and galleries are surely exciting, if you’ve travelled from across the world and are into that sort of thing (meaning, if you’re an Asian/American/German tourist with a baseball cap and a Nikon round your neck)… However, the real charm of Grasse lies in its old town. And its people.
Grasse, past the Perfume Museum. Leica M6. Fuji Superia.
Grasse 2014.
Leica M6. Kodak Portra 400.
So further beyond this street, past the Perfume Museum, lies the core of Grasse. It was one of these “let’s just have a walk and see where it takes us” moments, and as usual, it was very rewarding.
In the Streets of Grasse Leica M6, Ilford HP5
In the Streets of Grasse
Leica M6, Ilford HP5
Street Café Leica M6, Ilford HP5
Street Café
Leica M6, Ilford HP5
It was a little hard to take pictures because the people didn’t seem to trust a guy with a camera around his neck… My strategy therefore consisted of walking past a certain place two or three times, until the people started ignoring me, and then taking “stealth” shots from my hip.
Taxi Phone. Grasse Leica M6, Ilford HP5
Taxi Phone. Grasse
Leica M6, Ilford HP5
At a Coffee Shop Leica M6, Ilford HP5
At a Coffee Shop
Leica M6, Ilford HP5
Halal Market, Grasse. Leica M6, Ilford HP5
Halal Market, Grasse.
Leica M6, Ilford HP5
Coffee Shop, Grasse Leica M6, Ilford HP5
Coffee Shop, Grasse
Leica M6, Ilford HP5
The surprise fact that most of the old town’s core is inhabited by seemingly relaxed people of Arab/Maghreb descent, gossiping and enjoying their afternoon tea while the kids play on the streets, only a couple of corners away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist shops, won me over. The most unique old town of French cities I’ve visited so far.
Roofs of Grasse Leica M6, Fuji Superia
Roofs of Grasse
Leica M6, Fuji Superia

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