Bouquinistes – Booksellers

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Paris, June 2017. The bouquinistes are street booksellers along the Seine. There were declared a Unesco World Heritage. The term appeared in the French dictionary in 1789 but the norms about the sizes of the boxes and the rules of conduct are fare more recent. In the past, the locals used to shop for used books over there, now it’s mainly tourists.  Continue reading “Bouquinistes – Booksellers”

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Paris Bridges under the Sun

Pont Neuf. Paris. July 2017. We digitalised this photo and vectorised it through AI a few days ago, and it looked quite good. Maybe you want to try this?!

Pont Neuf

Paris Bridges under the Sun

Pont Neuf, July 2017. Pont Neuf is a misleading name as it is the oldest bridge in Paris. Nonetheless, it was entirely rebuilt a few years back.

The 37 Bridges of Paris

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Today’s challenge is “bridge”. A nice one indeed. There are 37 bridges in Paris. Bridges always make for nice pictures but they tend to be very difficult to capture. This is why I often opt for a Dutch Angle as in the above picture of the Pont Royal, a Regal bridge for sure, built by the inevitable Louis XIV, yet rebuilt many times (1850 for its current state). In fact, when visiting the bridges with a lecturer the other day, I was shocked to learn that almost all the bridges over the river Seine had been rebuilt, including Pont des Arts and Pont Neuf. The latter isn’t only the oldest Paris bridge, it’s in fact the newest. I cross this bridge very often as it’s on the way of Bus 68 which goes from my place in Denfert to my office in Trinité.

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At first I thought I’d have plenty of pictures to show but it took me a while to figure out which ones to choose. Here’s Pont au Change at night. As shown by the “N” insignia, the current version of this bridge was built by Napoleon III in the 1860s. There were quite a few versions of that bridge. It derived its name from the bureau de change which had set up shop on the old bridge (the bridge with the perfume shop in Süskind’s The Perfume” which collapsed in the river in 1616 and burnt to the ground in 1621).

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Focus On Focus

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Depth of field and bokeh are my favourite subjects. When I saw David’s challenge yesterday I went back to my archive, and found this Nov 2012 album, all shot with a 50mm f:1.4 lens all around my place in Paris, mostly around the Luxembourg gardens. First, a very sharp shot of the Explorers’ fountain in Port Royal. So much water the scene is blurred by the million of droplets frozen by the high speed of my camera.

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Cherubs looking towards the Pantheon in the background.

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A bunch of flowers works wonders.

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Autumn leaves.

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One of them had got stuck in the fence of the park’s tennis courts.

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Traffic cones. No, we’re not in England. Mostly used to prevent cars from parking on a film shooting scene as there are so many in the area.

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19th century building rue du Faubourg St Jacques.

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!”  

Continue reading “Musings About Heritage, Wars and Buildings”

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.

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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.

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