Monday, August 4, 2008

Paris. Reflected.

Reflections on my way out of town:

Subways old and new. Tiled stations. Renovations, new framework on top of old tile. Firedancing in front fo the Eiffel tower. Tourists. Tourists. Tour boat shining its massive lights on everything it goes by. River only serving needs of tourists. Who is living in those other boats? Do they move? New museum, green chaotic, sensous weaving form on the outside. I see possible housing growth. Cool weather. Spanish fans in the fountains. Spain 1- Germany -0. flower tower. Not really impressed. Its all about the façade. Is paris a museum or a really great city? What really constitutes a great city? Metro stop within three blocks of anywhwere I want to go. New archtiectrue and old architecture everywhere. Train stations. Roofs, massive spaces, can you say industrial revolution? Whew. Amazing metal work, rivets, everything. Deep, history. But, is it now a museum? Plenty of transformations. Public housing to new? Pessac, transformed. Restoration to the master. Geometrical and color purity. Filled in. trees, gardens, ribbon windows, pilotis. Tired. Naked guy in hostel. Pride parade, grinding. Foam machine, fondling. Transgender. Bass pounding. Mobile club. Man rubbing another’s with pants down. Beautiful, inspiring bridge. Parties on top Saturday night. True public space. Trivial pursuit. Overrun by tourists. Spend the day there? Washington, dc? What is the rest of paris like? Should have gone on my own, just ridden the train. Each city I should just take a train and get out and wander. Eiffel tower. OMG. Sweet hotel room. Crappy hostel room. TGV, fast damn. So many trains. Where is there a bathroom? Beautiful women. Lost and clouded mind. Amazing bookstore. Bread, cheese, salad. More bread. What am I doing? Public space activated. Or is it really? Accessible, yes? But to whom? All I see are tourists. Feels like a really accessible city. Institute du mond: way too many gadgets but nice moments. Standardized, institutionalized, conformed….flying buttresses, yes. Things that make me say YES! New housing. Is it just a façade. How do the plans work inside? Do the units work for people. good and quality spaces? Train tracks. Looking at map. Where the F am I? pack the bag. Prominence of the nation. Early. Blacks. Colonization. Blacks selling Eiffel towers. Minorities getting off here. I suck at French! National library. Bridge to redevelopment. The precursor. Bercy. New place. No people. bamboo controlled. Graffiti, trains and new housing. Fucking façade. Movable façade. Game to play. Make it look good. Architectural voyeaur. Homes as museums. Homes as living machines. Machines as living. Living machines. Machines that make homes. Homes that make machines. Machines for machines.

In general, Paris was a good time. Good to get the history where so much creativity and architectural history is based. The old structures are quite extraordinary. The public spaces are truly public. It pretty much makes the incredible mass of tourists worth it. But, it is weird, in the center, it seems like most of it is now a museum catered to the mass of the foreigners. It certainly didn’t feel lived in. Only once I get out of the center did if feel real. But, catering to large groups of tourists brings it perks: from break dancing to fire dancing, to stumbling upon the pride parade. It was like a series of massive clubs on trucks, with foam and often times, nothing else….Oh yeah, and one night, I found this amazing footbridge, and people were having mini parties on it: blanket, beer, music, trivial pursuit. YES! Good public space.

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