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Thursday, 24 April 2008
Exploite et assassine

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Graffiti with a social or political message, spotted at Stade de France in Paris. Presumably there’s supposed to be an acute accent on the last letter of each verb, making it “exploited and assassinated”. But what does does it refer to, and at whom is it directed?

Posted by bigblue on 24/04/2008 at 03:21 PM
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Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Les Pompiers

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I’m back in Paris this week and there’s something going on in rue Bayen (just of Avenue Niel) in the 17éme arrondissement. A few minutes ago the fire brigade were the only emergency services on the scene. However a police car has just pulled in too. There is no smoke or any other sign of fire. Perhaps it’s a training exercise.

Posted by bigblue on 22/04/2008 at 06:34 PM
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Jogging in Paris

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Promenade Pereire is widely used as a jogging avenue, by young and old alike. Wander down the avenue on an evening and you will be passed by several people jogging, like this spritely soul who did a few circuits of the promenade as I walked up and down its length.

Posted by bigblue on 22/04/2008 at 07:29 AM
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Monday, 21 April 2008
Where buildings meet

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This is where two buildings used to meet (one left a gap) in the 17éme arrondissement of Paris. I took the photo while walking down Promenade Pereire admiring the architecture lining the way.

Posted by bigblue on 21/04/2008 at 08:08 AM
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Sunday, 20 April 2008
Let them ride bikes!

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I have been watching these bicycle racks just off Place de l’Étoile since the beginning of the year and they have been always empty. On 8 April I spotted two bicycles.  It’s quite exciting to now see so many (photo above) and wonder if there are just more at this particular spot during the day than after hours.  If you haven’t been following the story, these bicycles are part of the Vélib scheme (“freedom bikes”). Bicycles are available for a cheap fee from any of their sites around the city and can be returned to any Vélolib site. You need to swipe a credit card to access a bicycle, but they are free for the first 30 minutes and cheap thereafter.

But for all the hype, has Vélib’ actually stopped people using their cars?” (asked The Guardian in August last year (probably prematurely since the scheme was only one month old at the time!):

Anecdotally, most people using the bikes are coming off public transport, seeking an alternative to bus, metro and expensive Paris taxis at night. At rail stations, so great is the rush for suburban commuters to jump on bikes rather than cram into Metro carriages that some have tried to lock up bikes on stands at night to secure them for the morning. But the increase in people cycling does seem to be boosting bike awareness and challenging the car mentality. Paris, with its wide streets, is already a better city for cyclists than London. And no, you don’t wear shorts, helmet or pollution mask; most people prefer a suit or high heels. Blase cyclists can be seen negotiating the high-speed free-for-all that is the Place de la Concorde while puffing a cigarette and calling a friend.

“If a critical mass of people get on these bikes, it will change the way drivers react to cyclists - it will force the city to put in more cycle lanes,” says Alexandre, an IT technician who has cycled to the Champs-Elysées for lunch with a colleague who hasn’t ridden a bike since he was 12. Wisely, they have taken the pedestrian underpass rather than negotiate the Étoile roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe.

Posted by bigblue on 20/04/2008 at 07:27 AM
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Saturday, 19 April 2008
Siân for Mayor



I’ve done the test over at Vote Match and (surprise!) this is the person I would be voting for on 1 May 2008 (if I lived in London).

Posted by bigblue on 19/04/2008 at 04:27 PM
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Tagged truck in Paris

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I have posted a number of times about graffiti tags: Graffiti in Paris, Graffiti tags in history, graffiti tags on the M25, and Graffiti tag. And I have talked about them here: Symmetry.

So these photographs of a truck in Paris, covered with graffiti tags, are a continuation of this theme. Even if I wish the authors had used Graffiti Creator instead.

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I am also posting these photographs in response to looking at the statistics of the bluemeanie webserver, which show that in the first half of this month over 450 visitors came to this site having searched for “graffiti tags” (with or without other additional words).

Today is the start of National Downshifting Week:

Downshifting is about slowing down your pace, finding a better work/life balance, consequently embracing living with less and leading a simpler, greener and happier life!

Downshifting isn’t about moving to new counties or countries, in fact, if you are looking to start a ‘completely’ new life, you’ll arm yourself with the best chance of success by ‘dipping your toes’ into a few of our ideas and making changes within your own four walls, long before you reach for a map!

The suggestions from the InterNational Downshifting Week team are relatively easy to adopt, yet can have great bearing on your everyday life and the way you spend your time and money.

The website has a number of suggestions for ways to take part.  There is also information on the Green Family Blog over at Sustained magazine.

Posted by bigblue on 19/04/2008 at 07:36 AM
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Friday, 18 April 2008
Arc de Triomph

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This is the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, at nighttime. According to Wikipedia:

Famous victory marches past the Arc included the Germans in 1871, the French in 1918, the Germans in 1940, and the French and Allies in 1944 and 1945.

. The Eiffel Tower is in the background on the right of the Arc

Posted by bigblue on 18/04/2008 at 06:54 AM
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