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?
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
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
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...)