Monday, January 27, 2014

Old and New in Paris

Paris, Stravinsky Fountain, Saint-Merri, street art, Jef Aerosol, Chuuuuttt!


Here's another view of Stravinsky Fountain which I mentioned in my post about the Pompidou Center next door. What draws me to this scene is the juxtaposition of old and new, the modern and the traditional, the quirky and the classic.


We walked over here specifically to see the fountain which is populated by moving sculptures inspired by Igor Stravinsky's works including Rite of Spring. Listen to it here as you imagine yourself in the photo. Some of the pieces are a dramatic black while others are a riot of color. Finished in 1983, it was designed to blend with the modern architecture of the Pompidou Centre.

When I first turned the corner and saw this scene, what really caught my eye was the enormous mural of the face with a finger to the lips. This work is a self portrait created in 2011 by Jef Aerosol, a French stencil grafitti artist. It's official name is "Chuuuuttt!" which I'm guessing is the French version of "Hush!" At 350 square meters, it was made with one of the largest stencils  in the world.

Behind the vibrantly chaotic fountain and the domineering face is the "gothique flamboyant"-style Saint-Merri Church built in the 16th century. If this was plunked down in America, people would drive from all over to see it. Here in Paris, it does not even rate a mention in the guidebooks. Its bell tower holds Paris' oldest bell made in 1331, and it has been the sight of many organ concerts from famous musicians and composers such as Saint-Saens. We don't even go inside as there are so many other places to see in town.

This photograph embodies what I love about Paris. It has so much history behind it that even the bit players seem huge to my American eyes. Yet, it's modern, alive and full of energy.

What do you love about Paris?


This post is part of Travel Photo Monday on Travel Photo Discovery,Travel Photo Thursday on Budget Travelers Sandbox, "Oh the Places I've Been" on The Tablescaper, Sunday Traveler at Ice Cream and Permafrost and Friday Postcards at Walking On Travels. Check them out for around-the-world travel inspiration.

35 comments:

  1. Paris is a different world, a different universe with it's own magic and it's own rules. I love it and I can hardly wait to get back there.

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  2. This is one of my favorite places to hangout in Paris and walk around the area and visit Pompidou...thanks for the visit this magical fountain!

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  3. Love your post! God willing, we will be there this summer....I will definitely put this on my to do list! Thank you for visiting me on The Marvelous Mâison! ❤❤

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  4. Such colourful exhibits. I love the way the new compliments the old buildings that surround.

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  5. Well I missed this so now I clearly have no choice but return to Paris to see it! ;)

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  6. I'm normally more of an old school, traditional guy with art but I'm always open-minded, Michele! I haven't been to Paris yet but I'm fascinated that with this one. The art moves? How cool is that! And listening to the Rite of Spring by Stravinsky would be a terrific accompaniment! :)

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  7. I suppose I think of Paris as a place full of history - I wouldn't expect it to have lively, colorful modern art like that. I love it!

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  8. What a great photo! I've never been to Paris. It must be beautiful there.

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  9. Oh my gosh! I would love to visit Paris and see this! The art work reminds me of the roadside attractions that I'm so fond of! :)

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  10. I'm a modern art fan so whenever we visit the Pompidou, I always stop and enjoy the fun of this fountain and its sculptures...so whimsical!

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  11. This is one of my favorite places in Paris too! I love Paris because you can discover new things every time you visit this city. We live in Bruges (Belgium), only two/three hours away from Paris so we go there a lot. Never get tired of it. Great posts!

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  12. Paris is always captivating. I wish I had seen this when I was there but that just means I have to go back!
    Thanks, Michele!

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  13. Thanks for your message on Facebook, Michele. I don't have an email for you so I couldn't post your comment but thanks for letting me know there was a problem.

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  14. I love this, great juxtaposition! My favorite thing about Paris is wandering the gorgeous streets and stopping into little bakeries for one too many croissants:-)

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  15. After reading your posts on Paris, being a history buff, it would be difficult to see it all. Thanks for taking us with you in pictures. Loved tagging along.

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  16. I love modern art and quirky things like these but also love old churches. There's always something interesting at every turn in Paris. Pompidou is at the top of our Paris list for next time (right after Disneyland) :)

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  17. What a riot of colour! It certainly puts you in a good mood just looking at the fountain and the surrounding artwork.

    What do I love about Paris, you ask? What's not to love?!! But a favorite place to sit and ponder is the lovely Place des Vosges.

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  18. I absolutely love that shot and what a great juxtaposition of colour and modern versus historical. I'd like to go to exactly that spot as it looks like you could spend quite a while taking photos.

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  19. Just give me a seat at a sidewalk cafe, a glass of rose and a long afternoon that turns into evening. That is my favorite spot and past time in Paris!

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  20. I enjoyed reading your post. Paris is such a captivating place...and I love getting lost in the streets of this city. You make me wanna go back!

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  21. I never knew that it was a fountain that inspired Stravinsky. So neat.

    Great to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

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  22. That's a great photo. I love everything about Paris! What's not to like? I need to get back there, it's been a long time.

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  23. What a super photo! Thanks for linking up with us for #SundayTraveler

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  24. Fabulous! I love lots of things about Paris, but the thing I love the most is definitely the FOOD! :)

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  25. it's weird: I'm one of those odd souls that never had a BIG urge to visit Paris or France. I must say, I'm surprised by that top photo! Never imagined such street art could be found in that city. Time I reconsider visiting?! ;)

    -Maria Alexandra

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  26. Found you via Sunday Traveler! I missed this while we were in Paris last month. We'll have to catch it the next time :) Gorgeous photo!

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  27. I didn't know about this place in Paris---so thank you! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler as well! :)

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  28. Great post! We really liked this area of Paris...the juxtaposition of old and new was definitely one of the major factors. Glad to have found your blog via #SundayTraveler and looking forward to reading more! Safe travels.

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  29. Beautiful photo. So playful. We like this part of Paris. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler. Looking forward to following your adventures. Safe travels!

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  30. I love that part of Paris too, and there are some nice restaurant there where you can enjoy both the old with the church and the new with the sculptures!

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  31. We missed this on our Paris trip - now I need to go back!! Fabulous photo!

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  32. STUNNING! I really, really need to get to Paris!

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  33. I love all things Paris but probably macarons and pain au chocolate best:)

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