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Unrecognizable Paris

Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 12:23 PM
  #1  
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Unrecognizable Paris

Paris could have gone the route of many other cities and been torn down and rebuilt like so many other places. I thought it might be interesting to show a few parts of Paris -- really Paris and not the suburbs -- that don't look at all the way you think that Paris looks in your mind's eye.

Okay, a few things were torn down to make way for this stuff, but actually quite a bit of it was just old abandoned industrial zones before the architects went wild.

Here is my report on parts of Paris that most people would not recognize: http://tinyurl.com/68waa9t
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 01:06 PM
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Another revelatory and interesting photographic exploration, Kerouac. How do you find the inspiration, much less the time?
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Just to follow up, I had no idea, like most Americans I suppose, that we had bombed Paris, so I found the video very interesting.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 01:18 PM
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It is horribly ironic that the main funeral services were organized in the Vél d'Hiv -- which is where the rounded up Jews of Paris were held before being shipped off to the extermination camps.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 01:54 PM
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Wonderful photos and beautiful, although I never would have guessed this is Paris! Vel d'Hiv is a place that I recently became aware of through reading Sarah's Key...truly awful.
Your perspective is always interesting...thanks for posting this.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 02:17 PM
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Always enjoy your wonderful picture reports. Thanks!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 04:42 PM
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Paris has some pretty awsome modern architecture if you move towards the outer arrondissements, as you have made us all aware. Thanks again.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 04:47 PM
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I'm thrilled you included Parc André Citroën. We stayed once in the 15e near Charles Michels and I didn't make the effort to visit the park. This summer I will. I love the greenhouses.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 07:08 PM
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Kerouac, great eye as always. Despite meticulous planning, vast expanses of glass curtain walls that should invite the peeping viewer inside instead suggest a city with a blank stare. And please, a world-wide ban on any more reflective glass tinted green.

Still, some of the buildings allow mixed-use mingling of shops, offices and residences, the best bet for housing a community as long as the rents are within reach.

Speaking of green, what is that chlorophyll-green tube that crawls like a caterpillar along a new building on the left bank of the river, east of the bridge that leads to Gare de Lyon? I spotted chunks of it in a couple of your photos.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 08:47 PM
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That's the International Design Center. Although the offices in it are occupied, I don't think it was ever officially inaugurated. It is supposed to have a big public zone inside, but I think that hard economic times have delayed that indefinitely.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 12:50 AM
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Thanks, wonderful as all of these essays have been. One year we made it a point to get out to see more of the modern architecture of Paris. They do modern as well as they do old IMO.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 01:47 AM
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Fascinating photos, though not so surprising to a Londoner, perhaps. One thing - I remember a course in French I did in Boulogne (sur Mer) in the 60s, where the director never ceased to remind us (with some bitterness) about the destruction wrought on the town by allied bombardment of all kinds. I suspect there may also be some resentment in Caen.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 03:05 AM
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"I suspect there may also be some resentment in Caen."

Ask the people of Royan : 500 dead, 400 injured, 150 missing among the civilian population, 85% of the town destroyed under over 1,500 tons of bombs ........ and 35 German casualties.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 05:18 AM
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Count me in the "love it" camp, mainly because it's so different, yet very much part of the vrai Paris.

When I lived in Paris during college, a fellow classmate lived in the 13th, and I was always amazed by how different it looked and felt from other parts of Paris - not in a bad way, just different.

I am a Haussmann freak - I love the lines and orderliness.

I never knew any other building within Paris exceeded the height limits, other than Montparnasse. Any idea how "they" got away with that?

Thanks again for a great, insightful post.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 07:48 AM
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Wonderful pictures, as always. We will be in Paris soon and I plan to take a trip over to the 13th. I have seen some of it, but missed most of it. I personally like the modern architecture, clean lines, glass, metal.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 09:28 AM
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In that case, the metro station you want is "Bibliothèque François Mitterrand."
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 01:09 PM
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Thanks kerouac. Very enjoyable.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 01:57 PM
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Geez, kerouac,

Between you and FMT, I'm gonna have to return to France for several "years" in order to check out all the places you've both photographed. They all look so fantastic. Water . . . to a thirsty man in the desert of LA.

Thanks for all the great work. It makes my day.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 06:18 PM
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Thanks for the info. I don't think my pictures will compare with yours, however.
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Old Feb 6th, 2011, 04:08 AM
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An excellent illustration, by way of comparison with central Paris, of the notion that modern architecture is esthetically bankrupt.
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