Jim Colburn - Don't Ask

We'll Always Be Able
To Deduct Paris...

Over the years I've found that the best of my photographic ideas come to me sipping a glass of red wine in a Parisian café. Maybe it's the light, maybe it's the ambiance, but great ideas pour forth along with the wine. (Do you think that's good enough to allow me to deduct my recent week in Paris? Maybe not... How about...)

When Dirck asked me to travel to Paris to do some early scouting for a "Platypus Workshop" in the City Of Light I jumped at the chance. He'd need details on work space, hotels and travel arrangements within the city and I was only too glad to help. (How about now? No? How about...)

The recent strikes by photographers from the Paris office of Corbis-Sygma meant that I just had to go there to report first hand. Only by speaking, in person, to the people involved on both sides could I do an accurate follow up to a recent column. (Yeah, I know, it's a stretch...)

Did you know that the cheapest way to get around Paris is to obtain a free "Carte Orange" at any of the major rail or subway stations (bring a passport-size photo)? The "Carte Orange" is a commuter ID that allows you to buy a weekly ticket (the "hebdomidaire) good for unlimited travel on Paris' subways and busses, for around twelve dollars.

Did you know that every year in February the French put on what is the coolest State Fair in the world? At the Salon d"Agriculture in Paris they have a huge hall filled with exhibits like "Your Friend The Aubergine," another huge hall filled with farm animals, combine harvesters and two halls filed with wine and food. Spend the day, hang out, sample your ass off, and stagger back to the hotel.

Did you know that a Pelican 1620 case will hold a case of wine if each bottle is generously bubble-wrapped?
Did you know that a local paper (Le Parisien) lists the time and place of the demonstrations happening every day in Paris? "Honey? Shall we take in the communist trade union's protest against worker exposure to radiation this morning or just make the Psychologists demo after lunch?"

Did you know that in France "The Press "is still a respected order and your press pass will get you into virtually any museum or event (see agriculture fair above) for free? And you can skip to the head of the two-hour line at The Louvre and people won't complain?

Did you know that you and your significant other can eat really, really well every night for thirty dollars per person? And that The French will treat you quite nicely if you learn how to say "Please," Thank you" and "May I use your toilet?"

Can I file a Schedule C as a travel writer now? Please?

(If you need the name of an excellent two-star hotel in the Latin Quarter - $90 per night including breakfast and tax - drop me a line...)

Jim Colburn
Contributing Writer

Write a Letter to the Editor
Join our Mailing List
© The Digital Journalist