Friday, February 14, 2014

Canal Saint-Martin, Paris

One lovely place to take a leisurely stroll is along St. Martin's Canal.  This old canal is still used by tourist boats but seems to be less frequently used by the traditional canal boats to haul goods.  The canal begins at the River Seine, heads directly north and then disappears underground at Bastille.  It remains underground until it emerges several blocks NE of Place de la République, which is where I started.  The Place de la République is one of the enormous métro hubs, an area offering cheaper hotels--for a reason--it's just a tad dicey at times.  The day was heavily overcast, promising and delivering rain, lots of it.

Most of these photos have the theme of water because I used a telephoto to take photos of buildings and people on the other side of the fairly wide canal.  There is also something interesting about murals painted illegally on buildings, and their colors become vivid when the lighting is not too bright.

I took the métro to République, headed for the canal, and just started walking.

I was fascinated by the graffiti in this area.  Some of it was quite handsome.

Evening Singing, Protestants en fête, Paris, 2013

Protestants en fête celebrated Protestantism and signs of growing cooperation in France.  Much of it took place at the impressive Palace omnisports de Paris-Bercy, known for professional sporting events ('basket', etc.) and rock concerts.  But there were also events happening all over the city (and France).  One was one much smaller affair for younger adults, held at the Gare de Lyon under a makeshift roof set up on a plaza outside the train station.  This was a time for singing the type of charismatic evangelical music that is so much in vogue (though not in my home).  The lighting was constantly changing (blues, reds, intense/dark, etc.), everybody was standing (obligatory for this type of event, even though there were chairs for everybody), texts projected on overheads, and everybody just enjoyed singing along.

We arrived when things were already underway.

Some volunteers/workers stood at the back, where there was considerably more light, enjoying the event and conversing.

We left before the singing finished (I was finished!)  The faces of passengers waiting for their trains to be announced, showed it had been a long day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Vernaison Antiquaires (Antique Market), Paris

Most national capitals have decent flea markets and antique districts.  Paris is no exception, and you can find both types of markets nearly side by side at the northern edge of the city.  Take the métro to Porte de Clignancourt or Porte de Saint-Ouen, on or near the Blouvard Ney, and follow the people.  Look for lots of awnings, old trucks, immigrants/tourists, and junk.  I went to shoot the flea market, but found the antique district much more interesting.

It was Saturday, so cafés were busy on that early October fall afternoon.

Being near the Périférique (highway which encircles Paris), graffiti was everywhere.