Friday Slide Scan #34 (wow, it’s been over a year) is from early mid-1994; views of Paris, including a couple I bet you haven’t seen.

That time I was staying in big hotel at Porte Maillot; as the view reveals, one of the few really tall buildings in Paris, which is aesthetically a good thing, unless you’re a Jane-Jacobs-ian density-is-good type, which I am.

View of Paris from the big hotel at Porte Maillot

I thought the view looking down from way up there was charming.

Looking down from the big hotel at Porte Maillot

I was traveling around on the Métro, the only way to go. I still have a few tickets, Lord knows how many years old, in my wallet, for sentimental reasons. The Métro has its own smell, like nothing else in the world. Anyhow, there’s this one line where there a bunch of stations named after foreign dignitaries. One is called George V, after an English king of whom I know nothing. On that particular occasion, when I arrived early on a quiet Sunday, I found it was being renovated.

George V Paris Metro station, being renovated

This was oddly visually compelling, so I stuck around and took pictures, resolutely ignoring the Parisians looking askance at the demented gringo. First, an empty frame.

George V Paris Metro station, being renovated

Next, a subway-advertising-poster palimpsest.

George V Paris Metro station, being renovated

Finally, the one old advertisement that hadn’t been (completely) removed.

George V Paris Metro station, being renovated

Images in the Friday Slide Scans are from 35mm slides taken between 1953 and 2003 by (in rough chronological order) Bill Bray, Jean Bray, Tim Bray, Cath Bray, and Lauren Wood; when I know exactly who took one, I’ll say; in this case, Tim Bray. Most but not all of the slides were on Kodachrome; they were digitized using a Nikon CoolScan 4000 ED scanner and cleaned up by a combination of the Nikon scanning software and PhotoShop Elements.


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From: David Carlton (Mar 30 2008, at 09:57)

I could be misremembering (hmm, I guess my copy of Death and Life is on loan?), but I don't think Jane Jacobs liked tall buildings at all: they destroy the living communities of the streets.

Or maybe I'm misparsing your sentence?


From: Jon Ellis (Apr 05 2008, at 17:51)

Ah, the smell.

It was probably on my very first business (day) to Paris, that i was informed by the disgruntled englishman who was hosting me, that sewage pipes ran through the support columns of the stations. Over time the pipes had developed cracks due to the vibrations of the trains... and repairing them wasn't going to happen. This comment might have been specific to Châtelet-Les Halles... or some other station.

Apologies for the scatalogy :)


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