Sunday, May 19, 2019

Water rites.


Sunday morning. The worst of the wet weather seems to be behind us.


The old zinc bath by the remains of the Roman wall is filled to the brim after last nights downpour. Sophie has a long , slurpingly noisy, drink from it. The PONs will happily drink from an old zinc bath but will turn their noses up at water left in their bowl if its more than a couple of hours old. Go figure.


A smattering of early morning market goers in the little town. PONs and master settle down at the cafe on the square to watch the world go by. Todays croissant scores 7/10.


On our way back to the car we pass two more newly empty shops. A hairdresser and a shop that used to sell ceramics. The hairdresser is closing because the owner is retiring. The ceramics shop is closing because it sold a variety of black and white vases and little else. Speciality retailing taken to an extreme. The little Balinese restaurant round the corner has also been shuttered. Balinese cuisine presumably not a big thing in deepest deepest France profonde. Sometimes you have to wonder if anyone produced a business plan for these failed enterprises. Now the downward spiral is being fueled by the arrival of online shopping. These retail changes happened long ago in the US and UK but have been slow in coming to France profonde. I'd reckon a third of the towns shops are now closed with the omnipresent ' A louer' signs posted outside. Hope springs eternal.


An iconic piece of airport architecture turned into a hotel . Almost, but not quite, convinced about the two new wings.  There was a time when TWA was the airline to fly . Angus is of an age when he can remember using this terminal:  https://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/14059-twa-hotel-opens-at-jfk-giving-new-life-to-saarinens-flight-center




14 comments:

  1. Just home from an evening in DC and there is no shortage of shops where we had dinner and attended a live show. But so many of the brick-and-mortar stores shuttering their stores is truly an end of an era - Unlike the retro-chic TWA Hotel!

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    1. DC still has a living heart although Pentagon City has probably changed it forever.

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  2. We are in the early stages of planning a café associatif in order to combat the closure of a hotel-restaurant in our small town. It will be interesting to see how it goes. In the process now of carefully picking a team to take it forward and negotiating with the owner of the building.

    As someone who has no memory of the TWA flight centre in its original state (despite having been to the airport) I think the additions work well, certainly on a practical level, and not bad on an aesthetic level.

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    1. Well done. A cafe associatif sounds like a good idea to keep the heart and soul of a small town in place.

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  3. The first time I ever flew was on a TWA Super Constellation out of JFK, on my way to California when I was eight years old (I think I still have the little plastic wings I received from the stewardess stashed away somewhere). I never realized before reading this article but it must have been shortly after the terminal opened. I am very glad it is receiving its due again.

    We are very lucky to live in the central Tokyo equivalent of a little market town. Our neighborhood used to be a stop on the old post road into Edo, and a fair number of our local shops and restaurants are well over 100 years old and still going strong. We also have our share of head-scratchers, like the salt store and the store that sells only sliced white bread, and they come and go.

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    1. Crossing the Pacific in a Super Constellation must have been quite an experience !

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  4. Hari OM
    I do like the architecture! Also lament the loss of small business to the onslaught of online offerings. Have just had a little tour of Maryborough in QLD which is so historic and there, too, most of the little shops lie derilict. It's everywhere, the effect. YAM xx

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    1. France has resisted the trends that have changed the UK and anglosphere. Now it's catching up and may be part of the malaise that seems to be sweeping the country.

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  5. Stagnant water is the best.

    It is a shame that so many shops are closing. I do wonder how some of our small shops survive?

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  6. Bailey Bob Southern DogMay 20, 2019 at 4:11 AM

    Genuinely love the TWA terminal hotel. Wish for it much success! Very sad about more empty buildings in the little market town. Friday I went to the Robert Burns Cottage in Atlanta. I think you would be pleased it probably has not changed much since you saw it.

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    1. I guess the whole area around ha been built on ? Or is it still deep country ?

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    2. Bailey Bob Southern DogMay 20, 2019 at 9:15 AM

      There were originally 9+ acres, but hard to judge how much land is left with the Cottage now. What I found surprising is it is among a street of houses, and does not stand out at all. In fact I knew what to look for and still almost missed it! The lot has many assorted type trees, with a semi circular, gravel driveway. It truly looks like a cottage in the woods! It is two blocks from busy Moreland Avenue. No one was on the property, as it is no longer open to the public, except by request. It was very quiet, on a knoll, with a gentle breeze on an 88 degree day. Needless to say we shall return with other interested people, after making the proper request for a tour of the inside!

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  7. I remember the joke in the 1980s was that TWA stood for Try Walking Across...

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