Rue Obscure, Villefranche sur Mer, France

Underground in Villefranche-sur-Mer – (Pic du Jour)

Yes, it’s the south of France, for the second time this week.

This is the Rue Obscure, or ‘Dark Street’, beneath the harbor front in Villefranche-sur-Mer, on the French Riviera midway between Nice and Monte Carlo. The passage dates back to 1260.

I waited patiently for this man, a waiter who was taking a cigarette break, to return to work before snapping the photo. I needed an object of reference to give the street both scale and life. The man walking in the opposite direction succeeded in bringing both.

Object is the theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge. Check out more interpretations at the link.

Snapped on 24-Mar-2011
Gates of Hell, Zurich

Quickie at The Gates of Hell

When a google doodle reminded me this morning that Rodin would have been 172 today, I finally found a use for this rainy day snippet of a bronze of The Gates of Hell that rests in front of the Kunsthaus Zurich. Aren’t you glad? I am – another 30 MB put to good use and now banished from my hard drive.

To celebrate further, below are a few more shots of Rodin’s works taken either at the Rodin Garden and Museum in Paris or at the Kunsthaus Zurich. Unfortunately I don’t have a scan handy of my first Rodin, his Thinker that sits in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art, which has always been among my favorite spots in my old northeast Ohio stomping grounds.

Jardin Rodin

Rodin's Gates of Hell, Zurich

There’s a Rodin baker’s dozen on my Flickr stream here.

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Passageway, Cap d’Ail (Pic de Jour)

Cap D’Ail, France, 30-Sep-2012

I’m busy in Monaco for a few days, but did manage a quick stroll early yesterday evening along the coastal footpath in nearby Cap d’Ail. The pathway begins just a half kilometre west of Fontvieille in Monaco at Plage Marquet. Great views, fresh air, relaxing stroll. I really like this passageway.

A little bit more via the Ville de Cap d’ail website is here.

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Ocean’s Nine

Look at an ocean and some will see a barrier separating them from the vastness of the world. Others will gaze at a symbol of liberation, of the vastness of possibility. Some just see them as dumps. I’ve always preferred the second metaphor and thankfully, the latter wasn’t the case when I last visited one.

These nine pics were taken in Normandy this past April, the one at top and the first five below facing the Atlantic just north of the city of Carteret, and the bottom three on the English Channel west of Cherbourg. La Manche, or Mor Breizh in Breton, is an arm of the Atlantic, so technically fits just fine in a post on World Oceans Day.

Near Carteret, France, 13-Apr-2012

You don’t need me telling you about the crisis state that our oceans are in, about their rising levels, or about the island of plastic garbage floating in the north Pacific that for whatever reason has finally attracted some attention in recent months.

Think instead about the vastness of possibilities that the oceans represent. And enjoy your weekend.

On the horizon, the Channel Isle of Sark

Off season. near Carteret, France, 13-Apr-2012.

Near La Hague, France, 12-Apr-2012

West of Cherbourg, France, 12-Apr-2012

West of Cherbourg, France, 12-Apr-2012

Oceans are also this week’s travel theme on tireless Ailsa’s popular blog, Where’s My Backpack. Check out plenty of other posts here.

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50-Second Bricquebec Castle Advisor

Here is a 50-second video notebook of the Bricquebec Castle which I’m sure someone somewhere might find of use.

Bricquebec is a sleepy town of about 5,000 in the center of the Contentin Peninsula in Normandy, about 20 kilometers as the crow flies south of Cherbourg. The most notable of the town’s attractions is the Chateau Bricquebec which by many accounts dates back to at least 911. Some of its current stones were laid in the 12th Century and its current design was already visible by the 14th. Its first owner was Robert Bertrand who fought with William the Conqueror in the Battle of Hastings.

Some history of the castle can be found here and historical discussion here. The castle currently houses a hotel, which deluxe rooms available at under €100 per night. Not a bad rate or a stay in a medieval castle. Hotel website is here.

Note: Vidnotebook shot on 13-Apr-2012.

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My First Miss.Tic!

No, of course I’m not admitting to my first mistake. When I do finally make one however, you’ll be the first to know. Promise.

I’ve read a lot about French street artist Miss.Tic over the years, seen photos of many of her creations and thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit of her work that I stumbled upon in Berlin last fall. But it wasn’t until last month that I finally saw an original by this Parisian on her home turf. It even features a bike! And I love her hair. :)  Enjoy.

For more here’s a great site in French and an interview with English subtitles.

Higgins Boat Restoration (St. Vaast Notebook I)

Here’s a 25-second quickie I shot last month in St. Vaast, France, with D-Day buffs in mind, of a couple guys finishing up a restoration of a Higgins landing craft like those used in the Invasion of Normandy. Funding for the project was to end at the end of May, so I think they’ll manage – just in time.

St. Vaast is a picturesque little seaside town about 30 kilometers north of Utah Beach, the westernmost of the main D-Day beach invasions. From a small promontory near where these two guys were working lies an excellent if distant view south towards Utah Beach and the landing points stretching to the east. Trying to picture some 4,000 boats and landing craft in this stretch of the English Channel –along with a soundtrack produced by countless planes, rockets and gunfire buzzing overhead– was both dizzying and numbing.

A bit more on St. Vaast another time.

Note: This video notebook was shot on 13-Apr-2012.

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Orozco’s Citroen and a Creative Commons Update

I’ve never been much of a car guy. I have one but the last time I put gas in the tank was in April. Of 2011. I didn’t have my first set of wheels until I was 23, an enormous town car that I drove into the ground on the dirt back roads of southeast Ohio. I later drove a Yugo around those same Appalachian foothills for five years. That remains the only new car I ever bought. And this remains the only car I even remotely covet.

It’s Voiture Citroen DS 19 which sculptor Gabriel Orozco famously trisected and reassembled in 1970. An old friend used to say that I was one of the select few who could actually look good driving a Yugo. She’d no doubt be weak in the knees if she saw me driving around in this.

This was shot at the Airs de Paris exhibit at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in the summer of 2007, one of just under 1,600 photos on my flickr stream that I’ve made available under a Creative Commons license. I only ask that credit is given exactly as specified with each photo. Strictly non-commercial, please. Follow the links if you’re not sure.

There are now just over 3,000 photos on my flickr stream, and they are for the most part grouped in sets geographically, with 20+ countries and nearly 40 bigger cities currently listed. That’s one place to start looking. I’m also fairly anal about tagging, so if your mind works in a way remotely similar to mine (my heartfelt sympathies go out to you), you can also hunt around on the tags page.

For previous updates, check the creative commons tag here on Piran Café.

Anyone have any CC experiences they’d like to share? Good or bad? I’d love to hear ‘em!

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