Saturday, February 07, 2015

Booksellers on the Seine (Post card version)

I love my collection of vintage Paris postcards.  I add to it every time I am in Paris, usually at lingering but somehow way-too-short trips to the Marché aux Timbres or the Marché aux Puces at Vanves.

This one, of a bouquiniste (book seller) on the banks of the Seine, appealed for a very specific reason:  I have a painting from almost the same vantage point.

Here is the post card:

And here is my painting, which I wrote about here.

Cool, oui?  I love how the shadow angles are the same.

Some collectors prize unblemished cartes postales, i.e.,  those which have no writing on them. Shame on me, maybe, but I love the post cards and greeting cards of yore with messages to friends, family, lovers, and -- in this case -- colleagues.  I get a glimpse of French life -- someone else's life --  in a brief message. (Or sometimes not so brief, but that's another story.)  Am I just a voyeur into others' past lives?  Oh well.

Here is the flip side:

Translated, it reads
"Best wishes to all the team.  Work,  work work. Fun, Fun fun!  Hi to everyone."

And the other cool thing that I discovered was that this company, Rhovyl, still exists in Tronville.  I wonder if anyone there remembers this co-worker.

I was trying to figure out the date of the post card, and so I hunted down the stamp.

Ah, it turns out it's not just any stamp.  This is none other than the Marianne Stamp designed by Jean Cocteau for La Poste in 1961.

 How cool is that? (Marianne, of course, is the symbol  of la République.  In the U.S. we have Uncle Sam, who is unfortunately kind of fixed in a goatee and hat.  Marianne is always evolving. One beauty after another.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stealing Paris

Today I received a notice from a reader that someone was using a photo from my blog, which had been doctored and captioned,  for a hateful and racist post on a Facebook page.

Steam poured out my ears.  As if this week hasn't been awful enough for everyone who loves Paris and France.

It is bad enough when people use photos or other artistic creations without attribution or permission.

Alas, sadly we bloggers get accustomed to that sheer theft for our finer works of art or prose.  It shouldn't happen, but it does, and we try to remedy the situation as best we can. (I've been writing this blog for 8 years without remuneration, just for the love of sharing my bit of France.  I cringe to think of the number of people who have used images or text from this blog without asking.)

Just ask me, and usually -- USUALLY -- I will give permission.

Fortunately, Facebook was responsive to my report of copyright abuse today.  And for the pages which had shared it.

Here's what I wrote to my friends.  I rarely swear, so you have to understand my outrage:

There are lots of photos of Paris, I know. But dammit, *I* spent the money to be there for that moment, to take my kids to Paris for New Years, to rent the apartment on that street, to take the time and effort to get up early to take the photo, to post in on my blog. All for free, to share the love of Paris on my blog. And some idiot A-hole thinks he can just appropriate it to promote some anti-Islamic crap? That's the outrage.

Here is my original blog post, dated January 1, 2011.

The New Year's photo from that post.  I love Paris!  I love so many friends in Paris, of all different races and nationalities.

And  -- gahhhh --here is the doctored photo that some despicable thieves used to promote their own hateful agenda this week.

Whatever can be done to knock down these messages is not soon enough.  Not only did they steal a photo of beloved Paris, but they contorted it and turned it into a message of hatred.  Thankfully, Facebook has been prompt in stopping these pages.

Let's get rid of these thugs' photos!

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