It’s Day 54 of the South African lockdown, and my big excitement was going to Patisserie de Paris for croissants.

Gift at Patisserie de Paris
Lockdown photo 54: Gift, looking impossibly cool in his face mask and tweed cap, delivers my croissants at Patisserie de Paris. (Normally he would stand inside the gate but he came out for the portrait. We maintained social distance.)

I have blogged about Patisserie de Paris more than once (see this post from my 2017 #Gauteng52 series); it’s one of the best bakeries in Joburg. Normally the Patisserie also has a fantastic sit-down café and French cheese counter, but of course things are different at the moment. The Patisserie is currently selling bread, pastries, and take-away coffee, which you can either have delivered or pick up through the bakery’s front gate.

I planned my Patisserie visit to coincide with my friend Pauline and her son Elias. The three of us sat outside on the pavement and enjoyed our treats — cappuccinos for Pauline and me, baby-ccino and chocolate croissant for Elias, who is six — in the bright winter sun. Pauline and I watched Elias build a satellite out of paper cups and plastic spoons. He reluctantly allowed me photograph him in his stylish mask.

Elias at Patisserie de Paris
Elias was being coy with me (also the sun was shining very brightly into his eyes), but I like the photo anyway.

William, a Patisserie staff member who was working outside cleaning the fountain, asked to be photographed too.

William at Patisserie de Paris
William also has a great mask.

It was nice to feel vaguely normal for a change, visiting a favorite foodie hangout and spending a bit of time with friends who I hadn’t seen since the lockdown started.

I spent the rest of the morning running errands — stopping in at the pet supply store, the fruit and veg shop, the butchery, and the drug store — which also felt normal except for the fact that everyone was wearing masks over their faces.

I’m very emotionally tired right now.

Photography I Like

I want to share the work of a photographer who has been bringing me a lot of joy lately. Rich Riggins is a former colleague of my dad’s who used to cover sports for the Baltimore Sun. When I was a kid — back in the day when photographers still shot with film — Dad would take my sister and me before the Baltimore Orioles games to visit Rich in his cramped little dark room inside Memorial Stadium. I also used to watch Rich from the stands during Baltimore Ravens games, roaming the sidelines with his camera.

Today Rich lives and works as a photographer in Alexandria, Virginia. During the pandemic he has been posting the most beautiful daily photos around the Washington D.C. area. The photo he posted today made my jaw drop.

Follow Rich on Instagram at @richrigginsphotography. You can also find him on Facebook at Rich Riggins (his personal profile).

Since we all need more beauty in our lives, I’m going to start alternating my worthy causes with worthy photographers. Suggestions are welcome.

See you on Day 55.

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