Wednesday 27 March 2013

The Ruins of Neuilly-sur-Seine

Although officially the richest town in France*, Neuilly-sur-Seine is built within a landscape of ruins. In search of these vestiges of destruction amongst the modern-day architecture of affluence.

Running north to south through the heart of Neuilly, a town that touches Paris's western edges, is the Boulevard du Château. Although difficult to track down today, the chateau this road refers to once occupied 170 hectares of land and dominated the river beneath. After wandering aimlessly around the somewhat sterilised streets of the town, I eventually find the remains of the building, not on the Boulevard or Rue du Château, but on the corner of the Boulevard de la Saussaye and the Boulevard d'Argenson.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

A Walk On the Waterfront

A building transformed into a giant paint pot might seem surprising, but it is only one of several curiosities on the quixotic Quai d'Austerlitz.

Take the lines 5 or 6 of the Metro as they fly across the Seine and you won't help but notice the giant luminous blobs of paint oozing down the sides of a riverside tower block.

Standing on the Quai d'Austerlitz, this is the creation of urban artist Idem, who decorated the empty building over two days at the end of 2012.

Monday 11 March 2013

Searching for Somewhere on the Road to Nowhere

One of the first posts I wrote on this blog back in 2008 was about a mysterious bricked-up passageway in the 9th arrondissement. Thanks to the recent intervention of a reader who happens to live above the arch, I have been motivated to - partially - solve the conundrum.

My original post on this archway at the end of the Cité Fenelon did not even consider what may be on the other side. It was a curious feature of the cityscape, but one that I quickly forgot about - until a reader contacted me with more information.

Saturday 2 March 2013

A Musical Map of Paris

An interactive online map highlights the musical geography of Paris, but what does it tell us about the city?

The map, originally created to accompany an exhibition held last year in Paris, plots the lyrical locations of over 200 songs that have Paris as a theme. It's a simple, fun tool to use, allowing you to zoom in on specific districts, then to click and listen to the songs. 

Imagining Paris as a musical map is fascinating. The city becomes a place where you can be transported from one district to another not by Metro, but by song. At each stop it is in theory possible to learn something about the area's history and identity from this musical footprint.
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