February 23, 2016

A quick and totally touristy trip to Paris, captured in time and hyper-lapses on a Sony A7s with 3 lenses.



By Tyler Fairbank. Nice work! I love the bright light — in The City of Light — and the frank depiction of tourists, lots and lots of tourists, zipping about, seeing what you've just got to see, Napoleon's tomb, the Mona Lisa and Winged Victory, etc. etc.

IN THE COMMENTS: Wilbur says: "I've seen pictures. Good enough."

I think the point is, if you do go to Paris, DON'T do the touristy trip or you will have that feeling of it being like in the photographs... except a lot of other people will be cluttering the view. You've got to find another path. It's easy enough really. Even just at the Louvre... don't be the cliché who stands in the crowd in front of the Mona Lisa and Winged Victory. Find some more unusual things and follow your heart.

I've been to Paris twice, and I didn't have a camera but a sketchbook, and I was always looking for odd perspectives on the place. I remember drawing this huge vase in some deserted corner of the Louvre. I thought it was absurdly large and so ugly that I wondered at the people of the past who would have thought it sublime. Then it got especially funny because other museumgoers saw me drawing and then started looking at the damned objet as if I'd identified it as something worth paying respect to. I couldn't say, "No, you don't get it." Or however you say that in French... Non, vous ne comprenez pas...

25 comments:

Wilbur said...

"Napoleon's tomb, the Mona Lisa and Winged Victory, etc. etc. "

I've seen pictures. Good enough.

Meade said...

Yeah. I'm sipping French roast right here in Wisconsin. Good enough.

Ann Althouse said...

Everyone responds to Wilbur.

traditionalguy said...

Le Jour gloire est arrives.

Meade said...

Parisians weren't heroes. They let Paris be captured. I like Frenchmen who DON'T get captured. Take Lafayette. Now there was a real war hero.

rehajm said...

I think the point is, if you do go to Paris, DON'T do the touristy trip or you will have that feeling of it being like in the photographs... except a lot of other people will be cluttering the view

The time lapse motion of the masses of tourists is exploited for impact. Human motion depicted as decidedly nonhuman. It works, though not entirely original.

I like how there's snippets of the area approaching recognizable landmarks of the kind you normally wouldn't see if you haven't visited. Nina's good at this...

Brando said...

I think that's right--I used to live there and found I most enjoyed the random neighborhoods, or winding streets on the Ile de France or the neat views and art markets at Montmartre. The food is also best in the little out of the way bistros.

For travel the most important part is what you're eating and drinking--you can't get that from pictures. Though with the abundance of imports and increased cuisine diversity, you can nearly replicate anything here in America.

MadisonMan said...

I've visited Paris once, last year.

I recommend based on that visit finding an AirBnB far away from the touristy places (ours was near the Jaures metro) and staying in a neighborhood. It was very relaxing. You're taking the metro everywhere, anyway, and you get a better feel I think for the city. Besides -- neighborhood boulangeries and patisseries are great to wander into and patronize.

Tank said...

Hey, I'm in Paris.

Should I go see the Eiffel Tower; nah, too touristy.

How about Napoleon's Tomb; nah, touristy.

Maybe enjoy a service in French at Notre Dame; nah, touristy.

I could walk up the hill at Montmarte, have a local (touristy) artist draw my picture, and take a peek inside the Sacre Ceour; nah, touristy.

Maybe see the city from the top of the Arc de Triumph; nah, tourists.

Wait, don't they have some of that art stuff at Musee de Orsay? Van Gogh, Money, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne ... nah, touristy.

=================================================

I don't get this whole thing. I was there once. I was a tourist. I had never seen any of those places (and many others) in person. Of course, if you have time (and you should plan time), you want to get away from the places full of tourists, and see the country as best you can on a vacation. If you like the impressionists, why would you go to Paris and not go to the Musee de Orsay? That's lunacy. Looking at a picture of Notre Dame is not the same as sitting and absorbing a Sunday mass in French with the organ vibrating the building and a large crowd of worshippers, even if there are tourists there too.

Here's an idea. Why waste my time looking at a Van Gogh or a Monet when I can spend several hours of my few days (I'll probably ever have in Paris) looking at an ugly vase I found? (Actually, remarking on some of the "art" in famous [and not] museums is fun, but I'm not spending my day looking at some unknown ugly piece of crap.)

Here's something that happened at the Eiffel Tower. We went there because ... it was the Eiffel Tower of course. What we found was that the area surrounding the Tower is a big park. And on a weekday afternoon, the park is full of people. And they are students playing games, and lovers walking together, and older people playing chess, and young mothers with their children ... it was just like Central Park in NY on a nice day. So we sat an watched for a while. And the more we watched, the more it seemed like we were sitting in Central Park. How would I have known that the "scene" at the Eiffel Tower was that scene if I had skipped it? At the most famous, most touristy place in Paris, it's also real life Paris with real Parisians.

tim in vermont said...

More Paris for me.

MadisonMan said...

If you're visiting France, you should shop at Monoprix at least once.

tim in vermont said...

What I really like is a cheese shop that from across the street smells like the locker room of a South Florida roller hockey rink in August.

JSD said...

Guilty on all counts. Although we did take a guided side trip to Giverny that was enjoyable. Most memorable was that our group included a state official from Cuba. During the ride, she insisted on lecturing everybody in broken Spanglish on the joys of communism. She was stunned that there were two pasty white Americans on the tour who could speak perfect Spanish and French and told her to shut up.

Lance said...

Non, vous ne comprenez pas...

Non non, ne soit pas un mouton...

Non non, fetchez la vache, pas le vase...

Sebastian said...

Ha. I just go to Paris to watch the tourists. The mass of humanity in the Hall of Mirrors, Mona Lisa smiling at squinting admirers, the devotees shuffling down the aisles at Notre Dame, the I'm-not-a-Tourist sketchbook-chicks blocking the way as Chinese connoisseurs race to the Real Art at the Musée d'Orsay: where else?

Anglelyne said...

Tank @2/23/16, 7:59 AM:

Hear hear, Tank. It's one thing if one has the good fortune to be able to live in Paris for an extended time, or visit regularly. God willin' and the crik don't rise, I hope to keep visiting until I die. But if I manage to visit 50 times I'll still be a tourist and I'll enjoy doing touristy things among all the allegedly non-touristy wandering and walking and finding tucked-away bistros (which, btw, all the tourist guides tell you to do).

Maybe if I lived there I wouldn't be moved by hearing Mass at Notre Dame. Maybe if I had years to wander the Louvre, instead of a handful of days over the years, I'd abjure enjoying the Rembrandts and the Holbeins and Watteaus (rube alert!) in favor of contemplating an ugly vase. But I don't, so I am, and I won't.

Robt C said...

Tank @7:59
Well said. I was there last spring, but only had a few days tacked onto the end of a trip to Britain. Got food poisoning on the TGV coming back from Brittany (yep, saw the touristy Mt Saint Michelle) so I only ended up with 1/2 day. Used it to see Versailles. Lots of tourists there -- so we got the VIP tour and bypassed the lines of the Great Unwashed Teeming Masses.

Rusty said...

My wife used to write for those people.
I have no desire to go.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FleetUSA said...

Wonderfully fast summary of a tourist's Paris.

However, IMO when at the Louvre the really exciting things to see are Hammurabi's Code (1754 b.c.) and the Rubens room (Gallery Medici -- 1620's).

Fernandinande said...

When I lived in Mouans-Sartoux I avoided Paris the only time I went that far north.

Ann Althouse said...

I have a drawing of Hammurabi's Code!

aritai said...

Be sure to spend some time in the 5th arrondissement North east of Paris heading to CDG. Had a relative too poor to live anywhere else. METRO an RER change schedules and express routes to avoid stops. Moroccan and other Muslim communities, mostly Sharia behavior without the peace of the Kasbah. 1000s of car burnings a year never reported. In Chiraq and Detroit this would be called a riot. Their Sûreté made a bargain with Arabs decades ago, you leave us alone, we leave you alone and allow you free passage anywhere, especially Israel and the U.S. Total Fina paid for and protected Khomeini. You reap what you sow. Walk around the non-gentrified neighborhoods all at the edges of Paris and you’ve never seen so many women verbally abused, if not beaten in broad daylight. No sharia excuse needed. No protection orders available from their Napoleonic courts “it’s a domestic issue, none of our business”.

befinne said...

The greatest sculpture in the Louvre is Canova's "Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss." You won't find another as beautiful.

Ann Althouse said...

"For travel the most important part is what you're eating and drinking--you can't get that from pictures. Though with the abundance of imports and increased cuisine diversity, you can nearly replicate anything here in America."

Yes, and related to that... the way things smell. Can't get that from a picture.

I have anosmia, which makes food not a very interesting adventure, so I am bored by all the emphasis on one's next meal that's involved in travel. I do appreciate the subtle things that have to do with texture (the feeling of food), so I'm interested in really good bread and excellent frying and so forth.