Thursday, 10 August 2017

"Nairn's Paris" in Literary Review

I have written a review of the republication of 'Nairn's Paris', a guide written in 1968 by seminal architectural critic Ian Nairn, that you can find in this month's edition of the Literary Review magazine. 

If you are not familiar with the idiosyncratic work of Ian Nairn, I recommend you read this article published 30 years after his early death, which also includes clips of his equally quirky television programmes.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

A Brutalist Paris Map and some concrete examples

When we think of Paris, we don't generally imagine modern, functional structures in concrete, but a recent map published by Blue Crow Media aims to show how rich the city actually is in imaginative and unusual 'brutalist' buildings. More than that, Paris can also legitimately declare itself to be the spiritual home of concrete! 

Thursday, 1 June 2017

La Banane, a Google republic

In an almost perfectly square kilometre between Belleville and the Père Lachaise cemetery, a rather strange anomaly is written large on Google Maps - La Banane. What does this name actually represent, and what is the reality of this little visited part of the city?

On Invisible Paris, we've been here before. On July 4th 1905 - at the height of the public fascination with the Apaches sub-culture - a policeman on his first patrol was shot dead in this district. The incident was made more infamous with the publication of a book shortly afterwards, but at no moment was the name 'Banane' ever used.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Join me for an Obscura Day event on May 6

As part of the worldwide Obscura Day events on Saturday May 6 I will be hosting a tour of the ghostly Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale in the Bois de Vincennes. 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Challenge 11: the WW1 memorial that never was

Tracking down a war memorial last seen in the Père Lachaise cemetery nearly 100 years ago seemed like a tough task, particularly when the challenge came from Paris graveyard art expert who did not recall ever having seen such a thing before. But despite the photographic evidence to the contrary, what if the memorial had simply never actually existed? 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The allée Guy Debord: real!

Nearly a year ago I published a post on this blog about a mysterious address on the edge of Paris. Although the allée Guy Debord was mentioned on maps, there seemed to be no evidence of it in the location itself. So did it really exist? The question was all the more interesting given the identity of the person concerned and the post-modern landscape in which the street was supposedly located. 

Sunday, 29 January 2017

The lost world at the heart of Paris

Although it is difficult to plot the centre of a city coiled into 20 different arrondissements, geographically the spot wouldn’t be too far away from the Place du Chatêlet. Despite this centrality, the square and its surrounding streets wear an air of melancholic emptiness, as if imprisoned by their stifling past.
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