This week’s WP Photo Challenge sent me scurrying through my archives, eagerly seeking out life on the streets. I’ve nothing like Patti at Nylon Daze or the many other bloggers I admire, but I’ve always enjoyed observing ordinary live on foreign streets and I was amused by a couple of shots from Morocco circa 1972-73 – digitized versions of badly discoloured old prints one of my travel mates had sent me as a memento.
How things change, I thought, and began hunting out shots from other cities I’d visited in the past. But this yielded an unfocused mega file. After some thought, though, a thread emerged: Sundays in the city. Put together, it became apparent I was wrong. Fashions in clothing and car shapes may have changed, but intrinsically, things remain much the same over time. I’ve converted some shots to monochrome to illustrate the point,. I’d be interested to know what you think.
Lets pop over to Barcelona first. I’ve got a very soft spot for Barcelona: it was my first European city and it grabbed me that first wildly exotic night and has never let me go. I’ve no pictures from that first visit , which is probably just as well because I’d likely have been thrown into one of Franco’s prisons for photographing the gun-toting soldiers I was so amazed to see all over the place, which in turn would have disproved my thesis. Of course, since then I’ve been to other places with gun-toting soldiers – so nothing much has changed after all! I’ve posted about the Sardana dancers before, but Catalans have been gathering to dance at the Cathedral after Sunday Mass for decades, and of course, a stroll down La Rambla in watery winter sunshine (or at any other time) is a scene unchanged in hundreds of years.
In Paris on a Sunday, there’s nothing unusual in a couple of guys stopping to ‘chew the fat’, or friends and family stopping for a café … , and the crowds that gather in the Tuilleries for a Sunday afternoon stroll have been immortalised by artists since the Impressionists first horrified the art world with their scenes of everyday life in the city.
I can’t leave you without a few Sunday rambles around my favourite city. I cherish this old image of the Piazza, where the jet trails and pigeons seemed to outnumber tourists on a wickedly cold morning and must repost its opposite – a portion of the throngs that gather for sunset when the cruise ships are in.