Monday, 19 December 2011

Introducing...Invisible Bordeaux

Those with very sharp eyes may have noticed a recent addition to my list of favourite blogs - Invisible Bordeaux. The writing, research and photography make the blog worthy of recommendation in its own right, but it is also interesting because it is...the first blog to be inspired by and to adopt my Invisible Paris concept!

When I began this blog I had a very specific idea in mind - that there are many blindspots in our lives, and that what we see and remember is not necessarily the reality of our surroundings. Paris is my home, and so had to be the subject of the blog, but it also seemed to me to be the archetypal city of the invisible, purely because it has such a strong visual identity, even for those who have never actually visited the place.

However, I have always thought that cities all over the world are the same in some respects. Those that live in them are trapped in routines, or become blinded by over-familiarity, whilst those that visit are restricted by obligations to follow safe paths trodden by generations of previous visitors and simply don't have enough time to become absorbed into the place.


If there is an Invisible City concept then, it is the desire to hunt out the overlooked, and to recount the forgotten stories of your environment. Above all, it is about being curious and keeping your eyes open (and making sure you always have a camera, a pen and some paper with you!).

Tim, author of the Invisible Bordeaux blog, and faithful reader of this blog since its inception, believed that the concept could be adapted to his city, and he has already found quite a stock of material. Already featured in just the first month of its existence have been a hidden milestone, the secrets of the city's tramway, a city-centre race track and a Thai restaurant that was previously a theatre...and a place that once hosted sessions of France's upper parliamentary house!

Although I have not actively sought out acolytes, I would be delighted if one day I could make a claim like that of Eric Tenin on his excellent ParisDailyPhoto blog - the blog that started the City Daily Photo community. Blogs need an audience to survive, and bloggers need support to continue producing material, and what better way to ensure this than through the creation of a community?

Long life to Invisible Bordeaux, and if anyone else thinks their city might be invisible, let me know!

10 comments:

Owen said...

Hey Adam, that's fantastic, I have no doubt that there are many invisible cities out there. I for one have been exploring a lot of invisible cemeteries, and invisble places where things have been abandoned. In any case, may the invisible network thrive and prosper, out of the sight of the madding crowds...

Hope all is well with you since that lunch long ago, and happiest of holidays to you and yours...

Thérèse said...

It sounds like a great great concept and I can't wait to visit more of other "Invisible towns."

Tim said...

Thanks for the plug Adam, very much appreciated! It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that Invisible Paris readers will be given the warmest of welcomes over at my local franchise! And long may the Invisible City bug continue to spread...

Nathalie said...

I'm much impressed that there is now an Invisible Bordeaux. Before I go off to visit, I just wanted to say how pleased I am that you are emulating others. That's just wonderful.

However I doubt you'll ever manage to get a ring of 'invisible city' blogs as large as Eric's City Daily Photo and for a simple reason. Your concept is far more demanding and should I say it (for lack of a better word) elitist than Eric's.

The scope of your curiosity, depth of your research and quality of your writing all put the Invisible City concept out of reach of the average blogger.

We all know how easy it is to happily snap away poor photos of your city. Writing the kind of posts you write puts your blog on a different scale.

Anyway, merry Christmas to you dear Adam - I'm off to visit Invisible Bordeaux.

Adam said...

Owen: My blog has a 'name', but I know that the concept is far from being unique. Of course I follow many other excellent blogs - your own included naturally - that touch on many of the same themes as mine, but I guess I've just limited myself to one physical place.

The idea here would be to help out new bloggers. Those of us who blog know how difficult it is to find a good idea, then to build an audience, so wouldn't it be more simple to join a community that can help with both? Anyway, for the moment it's not something I'm actively seeking to do, but if anyone is interested, I'd be delighted to help out.

Adam said...

Owen - oh, and very happy holidays to you and your family too! Hope to meet up with you again soon.

Adam said...

Thérèse: A great motivation for me to set up such a community would be the chance to discover other people's cities too!

Adam said...

Tim: I hope a few more readers have now discovered your blog. Keep up the good work!

Adam said...

Nathalie: Thanks for your very flattering comment. I don't deny that my blog demands a lot of work, but at the same time, I don't blog on a 'daily' basis, which must be at least as demanding!

I've taken enough photos now too to know that I'm in no way a good photographer, and I admire those - such as yourself - who instantly find the right angles. Your photos tell the story all by themselves!

Merry christmas to you too Nathalie!

Lil said...

while i don't comment often, i thoroughly enjoy reading things about paris that are often "invisible" to many.

there are times i wish i could write more in depth blog like yours but i'm constantly running into problem with time as it is (terrible excuse, i know) plus, you're doing such a great job that i'm happy just to sit here and read your entries instead ;)

happy holidays to you :D

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