Monday, October 6, 2008

Paris Sights

Passage Galerie Vivienne

She leered at me from a shop window in Paris, and I quickly looked away. What horrible teeth! They looked like wax. Hey--they were wax! So was she.

You don't need to travel to go sightseeing, but being someplace different stimulates my vision. I notice the local scenery. Maybe there are some strange characters peeking out at me right here in SLC, but I don't spot them. On a trip I'm looking for the sights.

Cafe Natur, Paris

For example, this sidewalk cafe. The menu said to pick something green for an appetizer. (I thought using grass was illegal.)


How often do I photograph our local toilets? But in a faraway place they seem interesting.

The first time I went to Paris there were little backless booths on the streets called Pissoirs, convenient for men in a hurry. There was a drain in the sidewalk, but you still had to keep your distance to avoid any unsavory splashes. Women's Lib put an end to such gross inequality.

Now, almost 40 years later, there are unisex facilities. The automatic door opens when a coin is inserted, and inside is a spotless miniature bathroom, similar to one on an airplane. The saran-wrap on the toilet seat is changed automatically, and the whole compartment sanitized with every flush.

In every train station and in many restaurants and hotels there were attendants in the bathrooms to collect a fee. It's called pay-as-you-go.

Kit Car, Paris

Dee has always wanted to buy one of these classic French cars. It comes in a kit and you assemble it yourself. Very petite people can hire one with a driver for a tour of Paris.

I wonder if a French tourist would take a picture of my car. It's a traditional Mormon minivan, and it's almost an antique.

Hotel Decor

This was a life-size sculpture in our hotel room.

Modern art. One time we took our ten-year-old son to Paris and strolled along the Seine looking at the old books and paintings in the bookstalls. Josh was particularly interested in the vintage postcards featuring sepia-toned models in various stages of undress. We hustled him away with a discussion of porn, immodesty and the exploitation of women. Later, at the Louvre, it was fun to try and explain to him why Venus de Milo is considered art.

Yesterday I noticed that the landscape paintings in our apartment building have all been replaced with abstract, modern art. The last thing I would do is photograph them and put them on my blog. But is some tourist from faraway doing just that?

Be on the lookout.
You don't have to go to Paris to go sightseeing.

Have you seen any uncommonly uncommon sights?


kenju said...

I was only in Paris for a day and a half (sadly), but I didn't see any good sights like you did! My daughter the tour guide kept us on the move so fast we didn't have time to see much at all.

mama jo said...

that lady is scary!

gramakas said...

I'm SO enjoying your journey! I haven't been back to Paris since I was there with you in 1969. Did you take the direct flight from SLC? I love all of your quirky photos! You have a great eye for the unique!

Keri(th) said...

That wax beauty reminds me of a distant relative that came to visit my family from the UK years ago. The memories came flooding back after taking a look at those impressive teeth!