Parisian Fields is the blog of Philippa and Norman. “Philippa Campsie is a Toronto writer who studied in Paris as a university student, and has never quite got Paris out of her system ever since. She collects Paris maps and travels there with Norman as often as possible.
Norman Ball is a retired university professor who can’t stop taking pictures of Paris graffiti and interesting cars. He is the author of several books and has conducted research on the unexpected parallels between Paris and Niagara Falls.”
I came across this blog quite by chance (it was displayed on someone’s blogroll) and although I was loathe to review yet another Paris blog – I just couldn’t help myself!
Street art abounds in Paris, apparently.
There are people Papering Paris with deer and women in black tights.
Norman tells us that… “Street art—in paper, ceramics, painted freehand, or created with stencils—should indicate wit, forethought, and artistic talent. And it should somehow belong where it is found.”
I like the idea but don’t imagine that it would work in any other city – at least, not a British city.
And that’s a shame.
The ceramic street art that seems to be invading Paris is nowhere better displayed than in Oscar the Grouch goes to Paris.
Although my favourite would be the Tetris image seen at the Place Suzanne Valadon.
Phillipa claims that there’s more to Paris than “boulangeries, patisseries, chocolatiers, and salons de thé.”
That there’s a Paris piquant waiting to be discovered.
A Paris of Epiceries like Izraël full of spices and shallots and cornichons.
Ingredients that inspire a recipe for Pork Chops Piquant.
All bought from the Marché des Enfants Rouges, in the Third Arrondissement?
It all makes me want to get on the next train!
And some of those ingredients might just be local?
It’s nice to know that A tomato grows in Bercy.
According to Phillipa, Paris does have a food production system all of its own, even if it is small in comparison to the rest of France.
You just have to know where to find it.
After all, even… “Madame de Pompadour kept chickens and other birds in cages on the roof of Versailles.”
Murderers and Guillotines….
It’s not all Macarons and Cupcakes in Paris.
Oh no, Paris has its darker side too.
What about the story of the Duc de Praslin?
You know, the one who murdered his wife and then committed suicide?
A nasty business, that!
One might even say… A vile business clumsily done.
Still, at least the Duc avoided the Guillotine.
Did you know that… “The official executioner, a fellow called Charles-Henri Sanson, was amazingly efficient: one afternoon he beheaded 54 people in 24 minutes.”
That’s amazing, isn’t it?
But it fell to Clément-Henri Sanson to be known as The man who pawned a guillotine.
This fascinating article isn’t for anyone with a weak stomach but, I found it highly interesting.
Old time Paris….
Of course, Paris is not what it used to be. A Mutable feast? Who knows?
As Phillipa asks, who would want to return to…. “the days when most public toilets were unspeakably foul? (Does anyone else remember that horrible shiny toilet paper that felt as if it had been waxed?) Was the second-hand smoke of Gauloises really all that wonderful? Was life more comfortable when many people went twice a week to the public bains-douches because many apartments did not have modern bathing facilities and water came from a public tap in the courtyard?”
Not me, certainly.
But a little nostalgia doesn’t hurt and Paris seems to be preserving some of its history.
Things like the Cobblestoned streets, Les bouquinistes, Carrousels for children and ponies for hire in the Parc Monceau.
And for people for whom this matters, for people A la recherche de Paris perdu, a guidebook might come in handy.
The sort of book that is… “complete with crucial information on “Les Droits du Pechêur” (fishing rights), “Deuils” (mourning – including details on how long you should wear black for the death of, say, a sister-in-law), the duties of a concierge, and the “Arrêté portant réglementaire de la Circulation des Vélocipèdes sur les voies publiques en France” (nine rules for bicyclists).”
One might even call it the iPod of its time?
Hot and sexy Paris…..
Your really need to take A Flâneur’s Advice on Parking in Paris and check out the rather hot and very sexy 2CV on show!
Perhaps I take my 2CV lust too seriously but…..
Just look at the bumpers on that one!
Moving swiftly on….
While you are Scooting through Paris there’s much that’s hot and sexy in the two wheeled world.
I liked the Vespa with the cherub on the faring.
Come to think about it, that cherub looks a bit like me!
And so, summing up….
An excellent and intelligent blog about Paris.
If you visit Parisian Fields, you’ll not only learn a lot but you’ll also feel like you’ve actually been there.
Great prose, great photos and great passion from the two authors who obviously love their Parisian Fields.
Take a look to see what I mean.
See yous laters, alligators….
All the best