Given the forest of high-rise office & condo buildings in downtown TORONTO, ‘Playtime’ seems like an appropriate copy. It’s set partly in a PARIS glass and steel office building.Jacques Tati (playing Monsieur Hulot) arrives for an important meeting, but gets lost in a maze of rooms, ending up in a trade exhibition of lookalike office designs and furniture.The old Paris touch is a brief reflection of the Eiffel Tower in a glass window. A heritage structure if there ever was one. ‘Playtime’ is a wonderful film. <ABOVE – living in a grid of television screens. Heavy traffic BELOW>
The medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité was built between 1160 and 1260, making it one of the world’s oldest and finest examples of French Gothic architecture. <PHOTO – Eduard Baldus, 1860’s>
It’s so much a part of France that embedded in the square outside is Paris Point Zero, marking the centre of the city and the country itself. Now that the roof and other parts have been destroyed by fire, the world is mourning the loss of the treasures sheltered there – the enormous stained glass windows, sculptural decorations, the organ and altar (saved), the roof, the spire (destroyed), the paintings and religious collections.<Front page ’24 Minutes’, PARIS, April 16/2019> The destruction of Our Lady of Paris comes at a time when the city itself has seen some of the world’s most vicious acts of terrorist violence. France is badly divided in 2019, but in the face of all this, PARIS will survive – as it has through the French Revolution and two world wars.<Front page, Le Journal de Montréal, Quebec, April 16/2019> President Emmanuel Macron has announced that Notre-Dame will be rebuilt, stating “it’s part of the fate, the destiny of FRANCE, and our common project over the coming years. I am committed to it.”<Front page, Toronto Star, April 16/2019>
<Editorial cartoon by GRAEME MACKAY, Hamilton Spectator, April 16/2019>
The City of Light has come up with a new design for public urinals – this time without significant sidings. They could be mistaken for post office boxes and are causing quite an uproar.
“In order for Uritrottoirs to be accepted by Parisians, we had to imagine equipment that doesn’t look like a urinal,” one of the product designers, Victor Massip, explained.
Beneath the bright red box sits a collection of straw, sawdust or wood chips. A sensor measures how much urine the box is holding at any given time. Once full, the lower box is taken to a composting site, from where mulched compost returns to feed the window-box that grows above the urine funnel.
L’Uritrottoir is yet another reason why we love PARIS!
If steel girders and coloured lights can bring one close to tears, the Eiffel Tower hit the mark last night with its red, white and blue colour display.
Gustave Eiffel, no doubt, would be elated that his creation could lift the spirits of today’s Parisians and those worldwide who love Paris – myself included – 126 years after the monument first appeared on the Champ de Mars.
GUY JONES is a videographer who brings history to life by editing old films and making them more watchable. He slows them down to a natural speed and adds sound – making them a totally new viewing experience. This one is a collection of high quality remastered prints from the dawn of film taken in Belle Époque-era Paris, 1896-1900, by the Lumière company —– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjDclfAFRB4&feature=youtu.be
And you think we have it bad in TORONTO? PARIS, a city noted for teeny, tiny hotel rooms has topped itself. An “apartment” measuring less than 17 square feet has been rented for over 15 years to a 50-year-old man, identified only as “Dominique”, at 330 euros, or about $442 per month. “I come home, I go to bed,” Dominique told the French website and radio station RTL, describing how he coped with living in the space. The “apartment” has a skylight and a slanted roof, but “a person doesn’t stand correctly” in the space, the Fondation said on its Twitter feed. It added that the photo might make the place seem larger than it actually is. This is highway robbery under the guise of an overheated real estate market.