Musings About Heritage, Wars and Buildings

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Heritage

“Features belonging to the culture of a particular society, such as traditions, languages, or buildings, that were created in the past and still have historical importance” 

Cambridge Dictionary

Raoul NOrdling

Traditions and languages are rather hard to picture, but buildings are easier and I indulge a lot in that activity I must admit. We’re a bit spoilt for choice in Paris, what with a great number of listed buildings from the 17th century onwards. Most mediaeval buildings were destroyed in the 19th century when Paris was overhauled by Haussmann, but a lot of the 17th and 18th century ones are still there. As above in the district of Notre Dame.

The City survived WWI (despite some bombings which reached the Capital and traces of which can still be seen here and there and namely at the back of La Madeleine). And it survived WWII too but that was a close shave. Von Choltitz was meant to press the red button and Hitler was raving mad: “Brennt Paris?” he barked. Is Paris burning? No it wasn’t, thanks to Franco-Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling (Orson Welles in the film), the Man who saved Paris.  “Tack Mr. Nordling!”  

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Dense Crowds in the Chinese Quarter

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The Paris Chinese Year pageant takes place every year. This year, the Chinese New Year was on February 5. Instead of focusing on the pageant itself I zoomed in on the dense crowd this time and I found that the best part of the show was there, behind the barrier tape. One of the onlookers didn’t like me that much and she cast me a very stern look.

Chinese New Year 2017 Paris

Among the dense crowds one could also find moments of tenderness. The only difficulty was to zoom in through the throng.

Chinese New Year 2017 Paris

A tiltshift of the crowd taken at arms’ length.

Meet Sergio Pomodoro

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Meet Sergio Pomodoro (not his real name), an Italian chap I met at a meet up yesterday afternoon. We were sitting on the ground, trying to catch our breaths after an exhausting tour of artists’ workshop in Paris 6th district and he spotted my camera. So he asked whether I could take a mugshot of him for his Meet up and Facebook pages. It was very sunny yesterday and he was quite taken aback when I asked him to pose in the shade in front of a nondescript wall. Of course, shooting portraits in full sunshine will result in ugly shadows, that’s the reason why. Oh by the way, he is into hard rock concerts, but I believe you have guessed as much.

A Bit Of Greenery

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Today’s challenge is “green”. That’s an easy subject in a country where it rains so much, even though today, the sun is shining bright. Above the Auteuil greenhouses. This palm tree doesn’t need much water though.  

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Gerberoy, West of the Paris region, on the fringe of Normandy, water is plentiful. How could the grass be greener?

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Gerberoy again. Ivy everywhere. 

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There’s nothing like complementary colours like these. Geberoy again.

Relax, Relax …

Seattle, Wa USA

Today’s Friday Photo Challenge theme is “relax”. I chose this picture of two young ladies relaxing in the Queen Anne district of Seattle, overlooking the bay (right) and the City (left). I took this picture in the twilight, the atmosphere was beautifully relaxing I found. 

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Yet, there is nothing as relaxing, in my eyes, as Mother Nature. Above, Mount Rainier. It’s amazing that one can see greenery at this height. Rainier is almost as high as Mont Blanc but greenery in the Alps will stop a little above 5,000 feet (1,500 m), here we were twice as high at 10,000 feet. We had never seen that, and God knows we know about mountains since we have a house up there in the Pyrenees.

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One doesn’t need to get that far to be relaxed. A mere 50 miles from the City centre of Paris, one finds the old impressionist hotspot named Rolleboise, overlooking the Seine. On that day (sometime in May 2012), rapeseed was blooming, colouring the fields yellow and overpowering the air with its potent Spring smell.