Buffalo, Paris, and Chimney Pots.

Twenty four years ago I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express on Chippewa and Main in Buffalo, NY,  and was intrigued by the adjoining roof top of an early 20th century two-story building, rimmed with tens of classic chimney pots. 

Years later while in France, the view from the Eiffel Tower brought those chimney pots to mind…

Just for perspective because I like the image, here is a view from the top-level of the Eiffel Tower on September 25, 2012. I wonder how many of these “pots” would be within this view! 

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M 🙂

Vincent van Gogh, Greatness and Demise; An Afternoon in Auvers, France, 2012

 

A flashback to an experience we shared on vacation two years ago.

Short on time? Just browse the images and click for full resolution. 

This post contains nine images.

As one of history’s creative luminaries, Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch post-impressionist painter, fit the irony linking talented genius with mental affliction, (as so well discussed in a recent article by Nancy C. Anderson, “The Atlantic” magazine, July/August 2014.) In his last days, at the age of 37, van Gogh resided in a small one room apartment above Auberge Revoux, an inn in rural Auvers-Sur-Oise, France, about 27 km NW of Paris. During the brief seventy days spent there in 1890, he was artistic greatness…..but dealing with demons,  eventually resulting in his probable suicide that spring. 

In September of 2012, Jeanne and I had the privilege of visiting this very special place, the experience intensified by gloomy weather befitting its historical nature. Below is a photographic taste of that day – a side tour from our Avalon Seine River cruise.

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Room #5, his room, preserved as it was with barely enough space for a bed and sparse furnishings – and place to hang and dry paintings

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Our small group walks along narrow lanes and thru evocative gateways as rain begins to fall under darkening skies…
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to the Romanesque/Gothic church, which was inspiration for van Gogh’s “Church at Auvers,” shown below.

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We continued with a slow-paced, contemplative walk up this primitive lane towards the hilltop cemetery, the weather suggestive of a day here 122 years earlier, imaged by the strokes of the painter – but emphasizing the brighter, sunlit foreground against the storm clouds as seen below.
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(This and other source credits to Wikipedia)
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And in the gentle peace of the light rainfall, but troubled sky, we paid tribute to Vincent and his brother, Theo, at the cemetery… their neatly tended graves seen below with one of our groups older members – he slowly walking past while paying his silent homage.
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As a post script, the man above, a solo traveler unknown to the 15 or so others in our group, caused some anxiety while we waited on the bus to leave the small village. The driver/guide and others looked in adjacent quaint shops and inns searching in vain, as the rendezvous time came and went. Perhaps in his early nineties, concern was universal among us. At the last moment, this quiet unassuming man appeared, slowly made his way down the bus aisle in silence as we all wondered where he had been. As he slowly and purposefully reached his seat – not even looking up – he unceremoniously said, “I’m sure you all want to know… her name was Annette!”

LETS GO TO THE TOP – A High Perspective (initial edition)

Some Close-Up Views of the Very Top of  Four Iconic Landmarks 

Can You Recognize These?

(Full images follow below)

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ONE – 2012
27.041     11-5-75     NYC, Circle line around Manhattan_edited-2 - Version 2 - 2009-04-22 at 19-39-06
TWO – 1975
38.074  8-17-80      NYC Daytrip, Top of World Trade Center, H, J, S and M (5)_edited-1 - 2010-05-06 at 21-43-33
THREE – 1980
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FOUR – 2013

 

All four have two things in common:  New York City, (and at one time or another,) were the tallest buildings in the city.

Chrysler Building
Chrysler Building – 1930 to 1931
Empire State Building
Empire State Building – 1931 to 1972; 2001 to 2013
World Trade Center
World Trade Center  – 1972 to 2001

 

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One World Trade Center – 2013 to present

   

As usual, comments are always welcome.

THANKS FOR VIEWING

 

 

 

 

 

 

April In Paris … no, October In Paris – A Snippet from a Walking Perspective

Last year at about this time, we had the pleasure of walking along part of the Seine.  We explored the northern side of the Ile (island) de la Citi, upon which Notre Dame and other landmarks are located, …and across several downstream bridges, nearbyScreen shot 2013-10-21 at 8.23.22 PM

 

 From the river’s edge, and as seen under one of the arches of the oldest bridge in Paris, (Pont Neuf, 1578,) is the Pont des Arts and Louvre Museum behind.

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The bridge (pedestrian only) is one of several adorned with thousands of “love locks,” a fad started some years ago where-by lovers write their names on mostly brass padlocks, attach them to the wire railings, and toss the keys into the river. Another option, though seldom used, is tossing each other into the river! Some detractors of the practice would think that is the better option.

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 But perhaps one of the prettiest views in Paris is seen from Pont du Carrousel. Looking back from that bridge, are the two previously mentioned bridges and a world class autumnal view of the Ile de la Citi and surrounds including the Square du Vert-Galant, a wonderful little park on the very tip of the island (seen in the center with the trees in this image;) spires of Ste. Chapelle, (right of center;) and Notre Dame (far right, distance.)

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 After a sidewalk café lunch, our walk would take us to the beautiful Jardin (gardens) des Tuileries,  a World Heritage Site, with this view typical of its prodigious, colorful gardens and sculptures.

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Finally, after dark, the Eiffel Tower displayed its hourly light show, as seen here from the top of the 59 story  Tour Montparnasse.    Hi PS!

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Living High, atop the Eiffel Tower

Please click on the images for full size view       

While in Paris last fall I really enjoyed going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel is credited with overseeing the design, and building of this incredible, VERY open air structure, which literally stands as a testament to what late 19th century “modern engineering” could produce, and… in only about 26 months.

Conceived and presented as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, a visitor sees the wonderful engineering details… starting at the massive four supporting legs anchored deeply near the Seine River.  Above, is the beautiful, graceful lattice of 18,038 girders and connecting pieces joined together by some 2,500,000 rivets. The top observation level is 918 ft. (279 m) above the plaza and from there the very top of the tower is another 145 ft., or a total of 1063 ft. (324 m).

What intrigued me this time?  The apartment built by “Gus” on the top. Can you imagine asking a friend over for a drink at “my apartment… it has a nice view!”  NICE VIEW! I usually am not bothered by high places, but to most, hunkering down on the settee for an overnight in a small apartment perched atop a 1000 ft. tower would be ….worrisome! “How’s the weather?”  Make that drink a double, please!

ImageAbove:        From the Esplanade du Trocadero, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower

ImageAbove:       The first observations level, including “Le 58 Tour Eiffel”  restaurant

ImageAbove:                    From the plaza at the base of the “lattice” work

ImageAbove:    Pont Alexandre III, crossing the Seine,   as seen from the 2nd observation level

ImageAbove:                    The 3rd level (two decks) and top of the tower

ImageAbove:               Looking up at the very top, antenna’s, lights, beacons …

ImageAbove:                  Plaque telling of the apartment, on the upper deckImageAbove:       The original top of the Eiffel tower, showing the apartment, –  long since gone

ImageAbove:     The awesome view from the upper deck, 3rd and highest observation level

A Rainy Night Out On the Town – Paris

Bus Shots don’t usually produce memorable results. But last year, on this one evening in Paris, the distortions, grimy streaks, stencils, and other distractions of the windows faded out between my camera and the subject. Splashy rain only served to enhance the feeling, the ambiance, and the excitement of the night to come in the Pigalle district, current home of  several cabarets, including the iconic, if not campy, Moulin Rouge.

(Thanks to Alienshores52.wordpress.com “Paris in the Rain” for the inspiration.)

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The Moulin Rouge, with it’s red windmill, a Paris Landmark for decades

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“Feerie” pretty much translates to mean “Extravaganza!”

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Along The Historical Axis

In the 1980’s When Chinese-American architect Pei redesigned the Cour Napoleon, or main courtyard, before the  Lourve in Paris, he placed a single equestrian sculpture of Louie XIV slightly off to the side of the new and controversial Glass Pyramid,  By comparison, the statue’s tarnished bronze surface contrasts beautifully with the warmer tones of the hundreds of masonry statues adorning the buildings of the Lourve. Within that space, the piece alone, is uniquely set centering  on the “Historical Axis,” an imaginary line stretching miles along the famous Avenue du Champs Elyse’es to the relatively new La Grande Arc, over 5 miles away. From the step-up below this statue, I wanted to get some images directly along this line, but a guy…yes folks, a guy….was sitting there eating his lunch at the exact spot. I had to settle about 4 feet to the left!

The awesome view along the axis, crosses the nearby street, Place du Carrousel, and in a stunning visual perspective, continues under the nearby Arc du Carrousel, to the Egyptian Obelsque, .72 miles, and the Arc de Trioumphe, at the apex of the Avenue du Champs Elyse’es over two miles distant. Not in view, 5.25 miles out and still on the Axis, is the contemporary La Grande Arc. In that vicinity, now the modern business district of Paris, is one of its tall office buildings, seen a little too much in the photo…. because of the GUY – and his lunch!

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