Tuesday, July 12, 2011
A post-movie walk from Montparnasse to home led us down rue de Rennes at about ten o'clock at night. Looking up I realized that the lingering evening light allowed the absolutely clear reflection of the old 19th century Felix Potin building to appear on the 20th century glass-clad FNAC store.
And in one of the Loire valley villages we walked through this wrought iron address number looked remarkably like the eyeglasses worn by I.M. Pei and Harry Potter, depending on your artistic frame of reference.
The tile space invaders one sees on walls all over Paris seem to be feeling a bit insecure if one were to go by the armored car this one has been provided with.
One often sees old street names incised in the stone walls of corner buildings, streets whose names have been changed since, perhaps a number of times. This one is now rue de l'Hôtel de Ville, but I just spent some time researching where the original name came from, since it made me think of a slaughterhouse or killing field of some kind. The word 'mortel' means 'deadly' in French. All I could find however were references to a famous painting called Barricade at Rue de la Mortellerie. If anyone knows more, I'd love to hear.
And finally the Parisian habit of peeing in corners has gotten this merchant up in arms. "This place is not a urinal" it says. "You're not an animal. Hold it until you find an appropriate place to go." Naturally French courtesy requires the addition of a 'merci' at the end.