Versailles is an amazing place and must have been such a financial drain on France until the French people decided to take matters into their own hands and the rest is history as they say. And Versailles is certainly history on the grandest of scales as can be seen here in the photo of one of walks by the lake or Grand Canal as it is known. Nature has been tamed and made to grow how the designer wanted it to grow. And all this on a perfect spring day. Copyright Paul Andrews and Caroline Schmutz, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
While I love London and live and work in it there is something very tawdry about it compared with Paris. Tourists come here to see the historical sites but also to get ripped off in places like Madame Tussauds. When and why did that get so expensive? I guess they have to pay image rights to make wax models of dreary celebrities. Then of course there are the chain shops with their pile em high, sell em cheap. So London is becoming the chav shopping capital of the world.
Now take Paris, lots of independent shops, cafes and restaurants and not so many Starcoffee and Costa Bucks. At a recent concert we attended the main artist didn’t finish until 11:40 but few if any people left before the end. If that had been London it would have had to finish by about 10pm and people would be rushing to get out to get their last train. London, it really isn’t rock and roll like Paris. And after the concert, well you just go to a little bar on the corner of the street where your hotel is and that is open to 2am in the morning. No having to pay a fortune and get past a bouncer to get in for overpriced past 11pm drinks.
And then there is the architecture, Paris is beautiful and old, London has been flogged off so that the Qataris and Chinese can rip it apart and do what they want because in London money talks whereas in Paris it is French and it is known as the City of Lights. It is a beautiful city and has what London can’t have because London has been sold off so that the get rich quick merchants can buy their new Bentleys and Range Rovers.
There is much that London could learn from Paris but the authorities can’t see and won’t listen.
Eight of us went to see this film last night at the Cine Lumiere in South Kensington and we all came out thinking what an amazing film. It was I think for all of us beautiful and stunning. The French certainly know how to tell a story. In the time of films consisting of loud bangs and flashes and where in the Cineworld we go to the sound permeates through from the screen next door this film is just a good story. The visual equivalent of a good book. It is a beautiful tale of life, love and loss. The actors and actresses don’t appear to have had fortunes spent on plastic and teeth but instead look like you and I. And of course there is the eccentricity of Parisian neighbours and what a city to have as a backdrop. Maybe more people want to come to London but Paris is a far more beautiful city and long may it remain so.
David v Goliath might be the next Hollywood blockbuster, they must be making it after having made Noah etc, but in the real world Goliath Inc, Goliath Corp and Goliath PLC kill and trample all over David the good guy. And here is just another tale of the little guys losing out to the corporate monsters. So let’s start with a couple of photos to illustrate who the good guys are. This is the canal boat, Word on the Water, a floating bookshop and poetry venue. And this is the cat that lives on the boat. The photos were taken near one entrance of Paddington station on the Grand Union Canal. In an article titled, “Paddington bare”, Private Eye explains that the Canal and River Trust have selected British Land to take two new permanent trade moorings and you can guess where :-). They plan to open a floating coffee shop and “Welcome centre” in the two moorings. The article adds that there are already more than a dozen coffee outlets in the area including one on a canal boat. So huge evil corporation that has spent £470 million (how much of that is debt?) buying up the local area versus a small independent business and cultural space. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the ending and it isn’t a Hollywood one. Story copyright of Private Eye. Buy it, you will be amazed.
The Southbank in London may not be to everyone’s taste but it is there so leave it alone developers! Built when pouring concrete to create large monolithic structures was almost as popular in Britain as it must have been in the former Soviet Union the arts centre is a true public space. Back in 2011 the centre celebrated its 60th anniversary. As part of that there were some temporary fountains set up and on one sunny Saturday in June children were playing in the fountains. I was lucky enough to catch this photo of one of them getting caught out although maybe it was on purpose. Although it is a public space there is room for improvement on the pricing of the performances which, as with most other places and events in London, creates exclusion. You can see and buy more of our photographs on our Junagarh Flickr site or our website, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.