Archive for the 'The City' Category


Accidental Art

I always thought the Louvre-Rivoli metro station was so cool with the fabulous fake treasures of the Louvre lining the platforms. I attempted to photograph it many times but the lighting was too dim. A few months ago they stripped the station bare to renovate it and the platforms now look like an art installation, […]

Rare Patriotism

Dancing in the street at PLace Clichy after France’s defeat of Switzerland in the World Cup last night. “This is the only time when French people get patriotic,” said my friend Pierre, as two guys on a motorcycle whizzed by, one waving a large French flag.

Holey Moly

Know this expression? “There’s a lot of Montmartre in Paris but not a lot of Paris in Montmartre.” Montmartre is holey hill, its stone having been excavated to build the rest of Paris. As a result, many of its buildings are now sinking. Including mine. Here’s a repairman doing yet another touch up on a […]

The Origin of the Omnibus

  I tend to gravitate to postcards like this because of the rich detail in the buildings – the names of businesses, the façades of the old houses, the advertisements, the spire in the distance (it isn’t a church, it’s the mairie – city hall – of the 10th arrondissement). Most of the buildings are […]

The Plight of Peddlers

On my way home from the Eurostar in a taxi recently, we hit an unexplained traffic jam at a strange time of day. When we finally drove by, we saw that the problem had been caused by a police raid on a flower peddler near the Gare Saint-Lazare. The poor peddler must have spent a […]

An Evil Eiffel?

I love this demonic rendition of the landmark

Wave of the Future?

A friend and I were standing on a metro station platform, and I looked longingly at the snacks in the vending machines. “I didn’t bring any change, too bad these things don’t take cards,” I said. Then I noticed the huge sign on the side of the machine showing a Visa card with a payWave symbol. […]

A Bridge Too Far

It should have been the pride of Paris; a stunning suspension bridge leaping clear across the Seine. It should have been one of the crown jewels of both Paris and the career of Claude Navier, one of 19th-century France’s most brilliant mathematicians and engineers. But things don’t always work out as they should. This sketch […]

The Layers Above the Seine

Taken from the Pont Saint-Michel, this image shows layers of buildings along the quay; the bouquinistes; the level under the street; the banks of the Seine; and finally the Seine herself. How have I not noticed the walkway under the street level on this south side of the river? What are those open spaces in […]

Star Baby

It started with a tweet. Somewhere out in the city’s eastern suburbs there was a giant plastic baby sitting on top of a petrol station. Was it still there, and how did it get there in the first place? Someone thought I might know, or might be curious enough to find out. They weren’t wrong! […]

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