Sunday, June 21

The Rooftops of Paris

About a block or so from the Bastille
Sort of across the street from the pictures in my last posting, I found this early morning shot. Gotta' admit that it's captivating. How the hell'd they pull this off. Those are 18th century buildings I think. Their lower floors are discreet as a nun's skirts. But up top?

Anyone able to translate this culturally, historically, and of course linguistically? Blow it up and look carefully at these tags. See the one on the upper left? That's a cartoon cop car - upside down - with "police" in English. There's a 1984 slashed vertically in the center and, well I give up. Gotta' admit this is totally fascinating art (I know Andreas, I'm eating some crow here).

The sunrise was just perfect, like a spotlight on stage. And the palette is eye popping. It's a shame the it was too early to pop into the Café on the first floor. I wonder if the decor is classic French? Look at all the chimneys. And were there... are there... elevators? If oui, then when did they get installed.

So much history piled up here. These are the architectural shots I totally love. The way that builders elbow their way into spaces so that each generation plops its cultural flag along a streetscape, but in the case, a generation got in there with paint!

And I wonder which generation? How old are these graffs? You think 60's? 80s? The fading suggests nothing newer than the 90s but Wudda-I-know? Is this political, or just fun? And at who's expense (see my last post)? Do they add to the somber inheritance of those buildings? Or subtract?

If someone cared, I expect they'd be gone. Yet, how'd they get up there, and how'd they get erased? And would erasing them be a Taliban sort of desecration.

Enquiring minds wanna know.

2 comments:

Cedric said...

I am as enthralled by this photo as by your disparaging opinion of Paris. It is unfortunate that the city left you with adjectives like dingy, tacky and vulgar. Don't get me wrong, I'm not rebuking your opinion on this as I always enjoy a different viewpoint, especially when it's about something for which I have deep seated opinions. I learnt a long time ago that no two people will see the world the same way and there is no way to tell which view is correct so I'm good with any viewpoint.
I spent some years of my childhood in Paris, and a few of my cousins call it home. I've been back several times but only once did the touristy stuff. I have never thought of Paris as dingy or vulgar. I can't say I recall my thoughts on it when I was growing up but going back as an adult, Paris has always felt like a grand old lady that has reached that age when cosmetic surgery doesn't really do the trick anymore, or has simply become too expensive. The wrinkles can no longer be denied and no amount of foundation will hide the liver spots and there is plenty of evidence of arthritic pain. And for sure there are a few ugly scars and some would say, a few tumours. But oh what stories she has, what history she possesses, hidden among her jewels, several close to 1000 years old and many dating back 500 years.
I would think that every large city will have various aspects of the good, the bad and the ugly. Though like all things, thanks to entropy I suppose, all cities devolve to ugly given enough time.
In any case, I like this photo. It is very much the sort of scene that would have caught my eye. I like what you did with it too. Again, I reckon I would have given it the same treatment.

Cedric said...

Oh, and by the way, "police" is a French word ;)