Friday, May 19, 2006

Bank on the Seine II

Such a strange thing to happen, but now I'm accustomed to it.

Strange happenings on the banks of the river of the city I love. These things happen so often, you have to be alert, with your camera next to you at all times, on any given journey, or you risk missing the moment of your life.

My Reality

This is my Paris,
My reality.

No-one sees what I see ~
It belongs to me.

This is my sky,
These are my clouds,
My reality.

I belong to no-one;
Paris set me free.

Be it salsa dancing or simple strolling, silent drooling or daring prancing, the Seine will deliver up these delights on a daily basis during summer.

The sole saxophonist under the infinitely echoing bridge is not unknown...

The violent violinist standing on the shack on the barge, therefore, is not a surprise.

The voice from heaven, dressed in life-jacket, black flares and shreeking hairs, grabbing the mic, attack it, goddess staring, voice despairing, never will forget the sharing...

As with my sudden incursion into the world of almost naked African dancers in front of the Mairie of the 4th arrondissement, here I was completely spirited away, although I didn't understand a word of what they were singing about, nor a gesture of what they were posturing.

It was beautiful, in any case.

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bank on the Seine I

One of the REALLY GREAT things about Paris is that you can never predict what the hell is gonna happen next...

There we were, just strolling along by the banks of the river they call The Seine, enjoying all there is to enjoy in that simple pleasure, when we stumbled across one of those little alcovy thingies where people dance salsa of an evening.

Well, it wasn't the evening, and they weren't dancing salsa, but a lot of people were sitting down in that little echo of the 'Arenes de Lutece' seemingly waiting for some modern day equivalent of Christians to lions epic...

And sure enough, suddenly someone shouted "They're coming...!"

But WHO? we wondered...

And then slowly but surely a barge pulled up to the quay with two dramatic figures standing aloft, clad in not-so ethnic but striking none-the-less red life jackets singing in Arabic.

Amazing Arabic, which was quite appropriate really, as we were on our way to sip mint tea at the Paris Mosque...

Then the dancers started whirling and weaving and the whole thing turned into a magical experience.

Thank you, Old Mother Seine (if I may be so bold), and thank you, my Paris, for setting me free once again.

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Rainbow Reminders

Rainbow Dayz are still alive and kicking in Paris... this guy shows us.

Rainbows... you find them everywhere - look out for them wherever you are - you'll be surprised!

Don't underestimate the power of rainbows...

"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow."

"If you want to have the rainbow, Then sometimes you're gonna have to deal with the rain."

"The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears."

"We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lost sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way."

"We live in a rainbow of Chaos."

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Skippy, Come On Down !

Quiz of the Week!

Chomp, chomp... mmmm! Nice leaf!

Where can you find kangaroos in Paris? No, really, in the HEART of Paris, on a permanent basis - they LIVE HERE... I kid you not!

A prize of copious praise and accompanying awe goes to the first person to answer correctly!

And a free guided tour around my Paris if you make it here! How about that? I'll bore you to tears with tales of my beers... ;-) ... and years...

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Monday, May 15, 2006

This Aberrant Flesh

One of the most disturbing of the many disturbing adverts to have made Parisians shudder recently has to be this one... the strangest stomach-churning lump-blob of woman-flesh you can imagine.

Of course, it's just a female body in a strange position, but there's something about it - looks like a kind of amputee's healed stump of some sort, which just makes me queasy. Maybe it's just me.

So, err, enjoy this aberrant ad for admittedly an exhibition apparently celebrating human flesh and I suppose skin in particular, and when you look at it the artist has found an unusual angle to portray the omnipresent image of the human body. Long live art!

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Sunday, May 14, 2006

"Café Life" - (Recent Self-Portraits)

Paris cafés eh..?

Never underestimate them...

It was one of those noon afters...

They can creep up and scare the living Brit out of you...

Nothing was quite as it seemed...

I don't recommend them to anyone...

You can see yourself different...

It's like you're looking at life...

... through an upturned beer glass...

Sab alas thru a looking glass...

Minutes turn to murkiness...

Barmaids mop relentlessly

Reflections square up, one by one...

Lay your head down child, bless you...

It's only a French café...

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Metro Mystery Solved !!!

And the answer is...

... they're all part of the very same picture!!! Great guesses guys and gals! More quiz photos coming very soon!

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Metro Mystery

Your Mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find the link between these three photos.

A very specific, clear, unambiguous link.. but that's all I can tell you, or I would have to proverbially kill you.

The choice is yours... death or glory!

Are you the elderly lady checking her laces...?

Are you the hurrying harassed man, no time no time, as the fluorescent lights flit...?

Or are you the lonely, phone-checking phantom, haunting the end of the long long station platform, still performing..?

So tell me again, what do you see between these humble photos, what's the vital link to bring them all together and make them I single entity again?!

Sab :@>

P.S. Of course they're all in metro stations, but that's not what I'm looking for..!

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Secrets about Secrets

I could tell you where this is...

... but then I'd have to kill you, so I think you will agree that it's best this location remain top secret...

It's just round the corner from chez moi, quand meme!

I like living dangerously...

Paris is full of surprises... and secrets... you just have to know where to look...

Well, I suppose having a million flags fluttering outside isn't exactly keeping a secret, but how many people know what actually goes on behind those anonymous mirrored windows? Not many, that's how many!

And there are lots and lots of places like that in Paris. Often you'll see a security guard, with a gun, standing outside what looks like a completely inoffensive building without any interest whatsoever. And yet, believe it or not, that will be housing some high-powered official or special ministry of which the public knows criminally little...

In the omnipresent shadow of Our Lady E, then, I offer you a glimpse of an other Paris. Shhhhh.....

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free


The funniest thing about this photo is the way the humble letter box is elevated to the status of some sort of demi-god, towering over the rendered insignificant and impotent Palais des Invalides, Napolean's resting place, like any other lollipop or useless lolling lamppost - it's up to us to record these moments..!

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Helping Hand

Such a typical Parisian scene... nothing unnormal going on... and yet...

Check out the guy with the cup, hand up, while the nonchalant non-see-ers skip...

Horny, buy bye,

My Lady of the Stairs
(10.47 p.m.)So what did you think of the film then~I thought it was a bag of shite~I could've had two pints~For 52 francs~And caught the end of the fight~Well I've gotta rush mate~We're getting a few beers~In~And watching the gameAll right, cheers mateSee you next SundayTake careAnd I turnAnd I makeFor the top of the stairs.(10.48 p.m.)I know that she's there, I can feel herA presence so strong and so frailFor she's always thereBy the cold hand railCompletely failed, without fail,She must be 70, if she's a dayAnd resides, or so it would seemOn the second step up from the bottomOf shitty 'Escalier B'Metro line 7, Gabriel-PériTo Châtillon-Montrouge, ParisSuch an imposing, impressive addressFor one so lost such as sheBut still beautiful.(10.49 p.m.)I can't hear her voiceAnymore nowFaded to a whispering sighBut I know what she's sayingMouthing the wordsFor those who can feel with their eyes"Un franc, par pitié, M'sieur, DameUn franc, par pitié"Thus runs her miserable dumb little verseHer broken two-line repriseAnd those watery eyes weeping pitySeem to see through me there where I standAs she holds out her discolouredVein-ridden, time-wizenedBony and tremulous handHave those same hands kept children from violenceThat now clutch a dirty old cupAnd fended off blows from who nobody knowsLying scared on a bed looking upOr while murmuring Arabic blessingsWith tenderness dark heads caressedAnd with warm arms she’ll never herself feel againDrawn small Moslem mouths to her breastSo I place my small coin gently into her handScared her arm will snap with the weightBut I can't bear to see her reactionTo my gesture so weak and so lateStill our eyes meet for less than an instantA wing-flick, a breath-beat, no moreAnd I run from the thanksOf those thin steepled handsOf that bundled half-lifeHalf dead on the floor(10.53 p.m.)Dear woman, dear childWhat sad train dropped you hereWhere the scum of the earthThrow their fag ends and beerAnd piss in the cornersAnd gob on the stairsWhere you sit with your cupIn your hands and your tearsForgotten scrap of humanitySwaddled and smothered in ragsFloating on frothAnd drowning in filthFrom the throwaway thugsAnd your carrier bagsHave I salved my sickAiling conscienceFor seven more days of debauchOf fatness and fêtingAnd stuffing and sweatingAnd making sure nobodyShits on my porch(11.07 p.m.)And now the train whisks meAway from her worldFar away from the spitAnd the dirtTo my hot-running waterAnd e-mail on-tapAnd a bedAnd another clean shirtBut 62 francs doesn't seem bad to meAlthough prices do keep going upWhen it buys you two hoursOf good solid funAnd a clink in an old plastic cup

All this movement is about Paris helping others, so we have to be aware so we can help our selves.

Thorny bye bye, hand on hip...

As we're promoting causes for the moment, we'll do the same for ours, Plan France, which helps people to sponsor children around the world, to give them a better education, create schools, and dig wells, while being in touch with the families concerned...

What you do is very simple - you just decide to sponsor a child, and a family, and a town, and you send off €25 a month, which is nothing when you think about it, and then Plan puts you in touch with the child, and the family, and the town and there you are..! You're a sponsor, and it feels very good!

It's really a two-way commitment...

You can write and be in touch with the person or family you are sponsoring, but the money doesn't go directly to the family - it goes to the village...

Give what you can...

and see how Paris responds !

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Monday, May 08, 2006

My Secret Potion...

I have to come clean and tell you that this isn't actually Paris. Sorry.

But it's almost Paris, quand meme!

It's still in zone two of the good old transport system, and it's just one stop after the Cite Universite, so it's pretty close.

This was, nevertheless, taken on a thirty second stroll to the local (well, the only) boulangerie in this sleepy quartier where I woke up on this particular morning.

I've got quite a thing about cats at the moment, what with the Shakespeare Incident (see previous posting), and other scattered happenings.

I'm starting to think Something Is Taking Place; I often have the strangest feeling that maybe I'm Being Watched but I'm Not Sure Yet...

I used to have a friend who almost convinced me that she was a top-secret special agent for MI6 (the UK's foreign intelligence agency), telling me that the way red cars were parked in her road were signs as to whether it was safe go into her house or not, and the aeroplanes that passed overhead were symbols telling her that it was ok... I was 'in'! I later realised that she must be completely mad, but it was spooky while it lasted and it was scary how seeming coincidences can be construed as fact.

Witchdoctoring is actually alive and kicking in the western world, be it in the form of horoscopes or coaching or any of the other multitudinous manifestations of the age-old art of making people think you can solve all their problems.

And if you believe, I firmly believe it works. That's what it's all about.

Check out this guy, the Stupefying Professor Kathio...

He's a great 'medium' and a great 'seer', apparently, and seeing as he's currently amazing the entire world, it seems like a pretty good time to get in touch.

Among his many specialities, where he can solve all our problems, are love, work, sexual fascination (?), success, health, getting your partner to show up or come back, financial difficulties, getting rid of evil curses, becoming fatter or thinner as you want... and so the list goes on.

Apart from his highly efficient and, indeed, miraculous results, the clincher has to be this:

Thanks to a "secret potion", he can now work with his clients by correspondence.

Ahh, the wonders of modern technology, eh? Power to your e-bones, Prof. Kathio.

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Narrow Exits

One of the least known yet most moving corners of Paris is nestling right under the tourists' noses, if they had time to life them up and look around a bit.

Right on the tip of Ile de la Cité, hidden away down a harrowing flight of spiteful steep steps, you enter another world. The world of the deportees...

At the entrance to the monument there is an explanatory panel, showing the various coloured triangles the undesirables who were sent away were required to wear, so that one could readily identify the exact nature of their particular perversion.

There were triangles for Jews, of course, but also for gays (pink!), for blacks, for politically incorrects, for socially undesirables, and many other categories and sub-categories.

They had the human race pegged and nailed down to a tee... you were either in... or out. And if you were out, you were REALLY out...

Visiting this place is a moving experience, especially if you have some personal connection with the events commemorated. But even as a simple member of the human species, it grabs you by the throat, thanks to the amazing design of this tiny space, fabricated in the form of a starkly denuded prison, which lays our thoughts and emotions bare, as our souls, whatever they may be, struggle to absorb the enormity of what we have done to our fellow man in the name of greed, power, intolerance and incomprehension.

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free / Mystic Rhythms

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Irony of Ageing

Glamorous girls, garrulous grannies, what separates them, really, but the time, the years, the yarn and the tears?

Parisian ladies cultivate the unholy art of getting younger every season, ducking and weaving, tucking and thieving, peeling off layers of preconceptions, shedding years like the Queen on the coins of her wrinkly realm, until even she, fading, finally, had to accept, that even the most scheming, slyly adept couldn't cheat mother nature forever and ever, but for ever we'll try.

Ahhh... Men!

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bike Hike

Just after I had taken that last shot of the fresher-than-fresh green leaves sprouting out of the seemingly deader-than-dead wisened and crusty old tree bark, my gaze was captured suddenly by this arresting sight.

It wasn't in sepia, of course! It was in some rather mushy, non-descript colours, but what I loved was the natural framing of the shot by the overhead bridge, the pillars and the stairs, along with the delightful details of the dangling lamps, the sprouting traffic lights and the imposing balcony. (We do like our imposing balconies here in the capital of passion... - in joke for those in the know ;-)

All that was needed was the weary cyclist dragging with grit his best rusty steed up another interminable flight, trying to make head or maybe tail of the Paris council's new bike-friendly initiative, perhaps! Thanks, Dude!

Let me know what you think of this shot, and give me any requests from the Froggy capital, and I'll see what I can come up with! Thanks for reading...

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Spring is in the Air

Well, folks, it looks like it's finally arrived, despite a few chilly days recently. One cannot deny that old Mother Nature is giving us plenty of signs to cheer us up as we stroll the boulevards of Paris that the sunny days are just around the corner.

People are discarding clothes like trees discard leaves in autumn, and it's a mighty pleasant site to see, I can tell you.

Roll on Paris plage, that's all I can say!

Coming soon on Paris Set Me Free: shots from the metro in sleepy sepia - I'm working on it!

Happy springtime to you all :-)

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lucky For Some

After our Wednesday photo meeting at Shakespeare & Company, who should we see standing, or should I say snoozing guard over some of his favourite books, but the legendary black cat himself! After about a million shots and some definitely felinely incorrect tail shaking we finally got him to open his eyes for a split second and hey presto, the shot was in the bag.

Honestly, we had never seen such a lazy cat. All he does all day is plonk himself down, generally on the book you are interested in, and that's it. Either that, or he is proudly keeping the front desk warm. In any case, he's an absolute legend, and no self-respecting homely browsers' paradise should be without one just like him. I don't even know his name - shameful!

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Beginnings, Old Friends...

Nothing too original about my dear friend, Lady Eiffel, you might be saying to yourself. But, ah HAH!!! That's where you're wrong, viewers...

Because THIS particular shot is the first ever shot I've taken on a new little baby I got myself, nothing special, but there is indeed, and at long last, a new digital camera in the hands of your roving correspondent. Until it gets swiped again.

So I thought I'd honour my greatest inspiration by making it the very first thing to grace my new electronic diodes! This is actually the view from my window, if I stretch my neck.

You'll notice something you don't often see in photos, in the second shot, which I hand-held for about half a second: the changeover of the light beams, which makes it vaguely more interesting, apart from the obviously intense emotional messages I'm sending you at this special moment in my photographic and blogging career... I've felt quite a pauper, in this rich world we live in as the most famous photographer in Paris without a camera... now I'm just another happy snapper 'with' a camera, but I'm quite happy with my new status, and I'm looking forward to supplying you with my modest little contributions on a reasonably regular basis from now on.

Watch out Eric - Sab's back in town with a loaded Canon, and he knows how to use it!!! ;-)

© 2006 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free


Related Posts with Thumbnails