Shadows Challenge

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Shadows is today’s challenge. A very popular theme and judging by the number of responses Cheri got on her post at barely 5PM CET today,  I am not the only one who likes his shadows.I have therefore gathered a list of pictures which are somewhat off the beaten track when it comes to dealing with this mixture of light and darkness. Shadows are often associated with B&W. Here I deiced to choose a few colour pictures too.You may or may not like them, some of them may appear very abstract to you, and rightfully so because they are meant to be. Number one picture is a giant leaf from the Auteuil greenhouses. Take a good look at them as the century-old greenhouses are threatened by the ever expanding, sprawling, French tennis championship playground Roland Garros. The greenhouses are being replaced gradually by tennis courts which are used once a year for about a fortnight. Go figure it out.

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Photograph number two is me at the gates at Auteuil. Cast shadows in Winter tend to be very long. Here I decided to place my picture in the frame of what would otherwise be a very abstract and almost incomprehensible picture.

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Now a series of three pictures taken from the Père Lachaise churchyard at dusk in autumn.

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Chamarande - Richard Orlinksi

My last picture for today is Orlinksi’s howling Wolf in Chamarande.

 

What’s In A City Name?

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Today’s photo challenge isn’t an easy one. It’s about “name”. As such I have few photos with names I can show. I therefore turned to brand names. First and foremost, the SNCF French railways logo of the 1930s, a really beautifully crafted logo, which is head and shoulders above its modern counterpart, even if it has been greatly improved. The beautifully designed logo and the intertwined ’S’ mainly is pure marvel. Obviously, in those days, advertisers could draw and not just click on a mouse. I like the way they fit all letters into a round shape and it still looks good in spite of this. It’s creative and elegant (here on a 1950s locomotive)

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Then, my friend Hervé’s GetQuanty logo at his fund raising party at the beginning of December last year. Hervé launched his company 8 years ago and built everything by himself. He didn’t receive any money from the proceeds of his business before the 4th year. At the time, I thought he was completely mad. And then I did the same 6 years later. I once was his first customer and I’m proud I helped him with his then budding business. He is doing very nicely now. Behind that name is a true human story.

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Vespa means ‘wasp’ in Italian. I found that ancient scooter near Montmartre a few years ago. Not in such a good state.

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Painted advertisements are few and far between nowadays. They are a sign of times when they weren’t plastered against walls but painted by hand on buildings, mostly in villages at a time when drivers could think of enjoying a glass of Dubonnet (an old-fashioned Vermouth-like drink from the beginning of the twentieth century) and live to tell about it. Those days of heavy drinking and mad driving are – thankfully – bygone.

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Well, at least I was able to spot a couple of names which weren’t brand names. Here in Seattle on this manhole cover, the name and picture of Chief Seattle, he who gave his name to the NW Pacific City.

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And lastly, this handsome late nineteenth century building (1892) which goes by the name of Maynard, a name mostly reminiscent of John Maynard Keynes as far as I am concerned. This Maynard type however, has nothing to do with the economist. He was an American pioneer and a nice person, much in favour of Native American rights. He is the one who proposed the City be named after an Indian chief. What’s in a City Name?

Chaalis Abbeys And Primaticcio

When you next decide to go to Chaalis, in the North of Paris, you will be granted three Abbeys for the price of one. One twelfth century job (in not such a good state), a 13th century chapel with a superb Francesco Primaticcio mural and an 18th Abbey which was the home of Mrs Jacquemard-André. Definitely worth the trip. From the Abbey you’ll find a footpath that goes into the woods and will lead you to places ridden with memories of great poets and philosophers (Nerval, Jean-Jacques Rousseau etc.)

From top to bottom and left to right: the 13th century chapel and its amazing stone gargoyles, the romantic bridge on the JJ Rousseau footpath, a panorama shot of the Primaticcio mural (restored a few years ago), a panorama shot of the 12th century Abbey, the 18th century abbey from the gates of the rose garden, and finally, the 12th century Abbey is a perfect spot for a Boy Scout picnic. All pictures are clickable. The map to Chaalis Abbey is shown per below.

Tightening the Belt

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Petite Ceinture: click picture to enlarge and see the detail

This weekend there won’t be any photo challenge from our good friends at WordPress.com. So here’s a panorama merge from the “Petite Ceinture” (literally “small belt”), the old and derelict orbital railway which goes all around Paris, mostly underground. The railway line was discontinued in the 1930s and most of it hasn’t changed since then. In some other areas, it has been turned into a footpath for families and joggers. Looking at this, one senses that a huge opportunity to have a superb inner green belt within the large City has been completely missed and it’s a bit sad (I’ll show you some of the nice bits later). Let’s be optimistic, our municipal people will certainly get their act together, one day. After all, it only happened 86 years ago, you know.

Partners – The Duprass in Château Thierry

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Those of you who are familiar with Kurt Vonnegut may know what a “duprass” is. It’s not a typo I didn’t mean “depress”, even though my keyboard keeps coming back to it. On the contrary. A “duprass” is, in Vonnegut’s mind, a group of tightly knit people. It’s a term he invented and described like being part of the fictitious religion called “Bokononism”. A duprass is “a karass that consists of only two people. This is one of the few kinds of karass about which one can have any reliable knowledge. The two members of a duprass live lives that revolve around each other, and are therefore often married”. Bokonism is first featured in Vonnegut’s famous opus “Cat’s Cradle”. Here is what he wrote: 

“They were lovebirds. They entertained each other endlessly with little gifts: sights worth seeing out the plane window, amusing or instructive bits from things they read, random recollections of times gone by. They were, I think, a flawless example of what Bokonon calls a duprass, which is a karass composed of only two persons.”

I spotted that couple in Château Thierry, 150km East of Paris and they really made me think of Vonnegut’s Masterpiece. When Michelle chose “Partners” as a theme for today’s Friday Photo Challenge, it reminded me of this picture instantly.

 

 

 

Pure photo challenge

 Today’s photo challenge is “pure”. I selected a few picture from the Albert Kahn gardens in Boulogne Billancourt. 

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Kahn was an admirer of the Orient and he built this Japanese garden a stone’s throw from Paris. A very rich man at first, he lost all his fortune in the 1930s.

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Fortunately, the garden remains and is a preferred venue for Parisians wanting to taste Nature and Zen in the middle of the City.

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Pure, fresh green grass.