Every place that used to be something or offer something has turned into a place for swilling endlessly.
The bookshop now serves food. The library has a cafe; in fact the cafe is much busier than the library. The urban garden does coffee and sandwiches. So does the supermarket just in case while you are shopping for food you are overcome by hunger and need to eat.
Even the bicycle repair place is also a coffee shop.
What is going on? Why is every second shop a restaurant or café? Some streets, such as Broadway Market, used to have actual shops, but now it is just one whole street of food (with 3 bookshops which, so far anyway, mercifully don’t serve food).
Why do people eat all day long, even in the street? Can nobody just live for a few hours without grub?
I mean, for sure sometimes you do have to grab a bite when you’re out all day long, but I can’t understand why and how, overnight a hardware store for instance shuts down, then in 24 hours it becomes a café and is immediately full of people all stuffing themselves like they have never had access to food before.
It’s not like people are using the cafés in the old-school way, to meet with friends and have, like Surrealist meetings like Andre Breton used to in the Café Cyrano, or Sartre and de Beauvoir in the Deux Magots. No they are just sitting there alone swilling very expensive coffee and chunks of cake bathed in the blue glow of their Macbook Pros.
It’s all a bit – well, not depressing exactly, but perhaps dispiriting.
Swill swill swill, nothing else to do.
you could just wait till you get home 🙂
today i have just trawled my photo archive for something beautiful and atmospheric to counter-act they grey November day when I am stuck inside, writing. And so, these images of Paris, romantic, a bit cliche but very much enjoyed in the moment they were taken. Beauty and atmosphere in one’s surroundings really does make a difference.
By the way I’ll just say one thing – people in Paris, yes even in “touristy” areas, are uniformly pleasant, polite and friendly.
I wasn’t in the city for long but I managed to take a few photos, see the post below.
What I didn’t photograph was more important: the destruction and damage of Katrina. Seven years alter some NEW ORLEANS is still in bits.
I got the impression people are still traumatized, pissed off – I felt that, for them, the memory is an open wound unhealed and still sore.
I saw Spike Lee’s film When the Levees broke but i confess i assumed they fixed it all up by now but it’s not true. Plenty of it is fixed up but I saw public housing estates still broken and empty, and the 9th wards there was still much devastation., I met people who realised they will forever live outside of the city and have to come into the city to work or have fun, gradually ties are being loosened and broken… by a hurricane.
I was only there for a short visit so I did not feel right going around photographing people’s misery. Still, as nice as this golden St Joan is, it’s the memory of the 9th ward that haunts me.
On another note it was the first time in a long time I have visited the USA and I have to say I really loved it, and in my travels I enjoyed meeting Americans from all over the USA. Here living in Europe when people ask me if I am American and I say ‘no, Canadian’ they usually say “Oh sorry you must hate that.” I have never hated being taken for an American, it’s no insult.
Canada has just as many jerks per capita as the US and England.