Graves, Lions, and Other Parisian Randoms

Paris, is an absolutely amazing city. My favorite past-time while in Paris, was just being able to wander the streets with nothing in particular in mind. Observing a culture that I felt I did not know, but once I began wandering its streets I became eerily familiar to a way of life similiar yet different to my own. To this day, eight months later, I still feel drawn to the streets of Paris. I could wander them for the rest of my life and ever day I would see something new and interesting. The following pictures are only a sampling of the things I saw on the Streets of Paris.

A Door knocker in the form of a Lion

A random parisian van covered in graffitti

The Grave of Oscar Wilde. (the red dots are from lipstick)

The rear of Oscar Wilde’s grave, I recommend you wikipedia it.

Two girls, feeding the birds in front of Notre Dame

Professor Purcell about to be attacked by a dog. haha

A statue in Paris to Thomas Jefferson.

Street Artists drawing with chalk. Pretty good if you ask me.

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Paris-a-Lomo

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Photos
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Lomography

While in Paris, one of the things I was exposed to was Lomography. A type of photography using old Russian/Chinese/Soviet/Retro/Plastic cameras that have oddities and irregularities in them to produce stunning photos with a “Retro” look to them. Lomography was introduced to me by my Photography professor Desmal Purcell. It is a unique and fun way to take pictures and capture images. For more information on Lomography check out www.lomography.com , a truly amazing site with some incredible pictures.

Here are a couple of my Photos from my SuperSampler.

Taylor and Sarah chatting before some Pink Flamingo Pizza

The fountain of St. Michel

Crossing a busy Parisian street

Hotel du York: birthplace of America

Parisian Construction

Kodak Express… #6 Nation

Taylor and Chris

Maison des Argentina

Chris and Tuinisia

Megan

Taylor outside of Wok Time

 

The Buried Great: The Catacombs

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Photo Excursions

“Stop, This is the Empire of Death!”

When most people visit Paris normally they envision the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and all the fine cuisine the French are famous for, however one of the lesser known tourist spots that is quite intriguing are the Paris Catacombs. Before they became catacombs, the ossuaries under the area around the Denfert Rochereau metro stop, were first used as stone quarries. Around the 1800s, Paris began to overflow with bodies but not enough spots to put them. The problem begin to arise with many local parishes establishing their own cemetaries, which with the volatility of those times were beginning to overflow. At some point, many of these bodies were placed in to the Stone Quarries and the Parisian catacombs were created. As for the cemetaries in Paris, eventually, the French government created three cemetaries on the edge of central Paris, they were Montmarte Cemetary in the North, Père Lachaise Cemetary in the East, Passy in the West, and eventually Montparnasse was created in the South.

A stone carving of the Barrière d’Enfer the entrance to Paris in the 1700s 

Skulls placed into the catacomb in the form of a cross.

 

Bones of the Dead…

 

Irony

 

The entrance to the Catacombs: “Arrête, c’est ici l’empire de la Mort

(‘Stop, this is the empire of Death’)

 

Hotel des Invalides

The Hotel des Invalides (the Residence of the Invalids) was built by Louis XIV as a place for his aged, sick, and un-well soldiers. The home was created because the soldiers were coming back to a place that no longer had jobs for them, so they began resorting to such things as murder and thievery to get by. Seeing a problem, Louis XIV created this home as a place for the soldiers to recover, rest, and live out the rest of there days. Today, the Hotel des Invalides is the site of the Tombs for France’s military great with such notable Generals and soldiers buried there such as Geraud Duroc, Ferdinand Foch, Napoleon II, and of course Napoleon Bonaparte. The site also now houses the site of the Musee des Armee. With many exhibits, from the the Wars of Luix XIV to the Napoleonic Wars, to WWI & WWII. It also houses an exhibit of Charles De Gaulle. I enjoyed this place. I always love military museums. As a fellow soldier, there is a special bond that exists between my generation of soldiers and those that came before me. Not because of the equipment or that war is hell, or so on, but because i understand the conditions the went through, I understand their motivations, and how they were able to complete what many then, today and in the future sees as impossible. A soldier is something only another soldier will ever understand. No one else can comprehend what a soldier goes through. 

Hotel des Invalides

The Bronze cannons

The Inner courtyard

The Inside of the Dome of Invalides

Napoloen’s Tomb (It consists of 5 caskets tin, mahogany, lead, lead, Ivory, and lastly Red Quartzite)

The Tomb of Marechal Foch

Napoleon’s Tomb and the chapel in Hotel des Invalides

Statute of Napoloen

Fleur de Lis decor on the main doors.

American WWII Recruiting sign

Ball-turret of the B-17 Bomber

Replica of the Atomic Bomb dropped on Nagasaki

 

Monsieur Eiffel’s Parisien Icon

Posted: August 8, 2010 in Trips
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The Eiffel Tower

 The inspiration of Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower has become the most recognizable landmark in the world, and has become synonymous with Paris. Originally, the Eiffel Tower ws seen as a blemish on the Parisian skyline. However, things have changed greatly since 1889. Parisien’s are now more apt to accept the tower. The Eiffel Tower is an amazing tower to be around. It is the only landmark that seems to loom over you where ever you are in Paris. I spent countless evening with friends enjoying the glowing ambience of the Tour drinking the Champagne and Wine, and smoking the cigarettes we would buy from the peddlers trying to make a Euro or two. Some of the deepest, craziest, stupidest, funniest, insert emotion conversations happened there. There is something about this tower that one cannot express in words or lyric, but can only be felt in the presence of this wondrous Tower. While the Arc maybe my favorite monument, The Eiffel Tower is one of my favorite places to be. 

The Eiffel Tower from the Arc De Triomphe

Looking up to the very top 

A pretty red and blue sky, and the Tower 

The view down the Champ de Mars towards the Ecole Militaire and the Montparnasse Building

Th Seine looking South

The Seine looking North

The Trocadero

The City of Blinding Lights!

Heather, Jordyn, and Megan trying to get a good pic of the Eiffel Tower (Oh, girls! Dont you know how dirty the streets are! lol)

The Eiffel Tower from the Ground, lit up like a Christmas Tree

 

The Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris is a standing monument to all the French veterans of the Napoleonic wars,a s well as the site of the Tomb of the Unknown French soldier. This is perhaps my all time favorite monument in Paris. There is something about it that just attracts me to it, and a trip to Paris is not complete until I have seen the Arc. Why it appeals to me, I have no idea. Maybe its because of its historical connection to the military. Maybe its because its the first site I remembering on my last trip visiting Paris. Whatever it is, The Arc de Triomphe de’Etoile is my favorite monument in Paris, and perhaps the world.

Here are some pictures.

The Arc de Triomphe during the day

In Wide-Angle

At Dusk

Ghosts of the Arc

At Night

The long climb up!

The View towards La Defense

The Pink Flamingo

While in Paris, we had the opportunity to attend Cultural classes taught by our very own Laurence, who was an Intern assigned specifically to our group. These cultural classes covered everything from Food to Language and everything in between. It was quite a helpful experience, as it gave us an opportunity to learn more about the culture we were currently in, in a classroom setting. These meetings were all optional however at the end of the 8 classes, those that had been to every class were given a very special opportunity. The opportunity to go with Laurence and visit a famous French restaurant, with her. That French restaurant was The Pink Flaminog- Pizzeria! (www.pinkflamingopizza.com) The Pink Flamingo is a uniques sort of pizza shop. It is located near one of the canals in Paris. What you do is, you go order your pizza, and they give you a balloon which they tie on you wrist. You then go find a spot along the canal where you want to eat, and a delivery person in a Pink bicycle will come and bring you your pizzas. Its very chic and all the cool French kids are doing! lol Here are a couple pictures from that experience!

The Pink Flamingo Pizza Shop

Laurence ordering our pizzas

The Famous Pink Balloon

The Balloon and Taylor

A Random Parisien who wanted us to take a “sexy” picture of him when he found out we were photography students.

Graffitti Chardonnay… Tasted really good with Pizza.

Samantha and Chris talking about Paris with Laurence