Sundays in the City

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.

24 thoughts on “Sundays in the City

  1. timeless photos Meredith, you have been capturing Sunday moments in these cities for a while! How lovely to see one old gentleman in Montmartre wearing a beret, you never see them nowadays … joy in Barcelona, and elegance in Venice, absolutely marvellous … the club and the conversation are standouts!

  2. Great shots in monochrome! Street scenes are just so much richer this way, and this makes them timeless. Why is that?
    Except for what appears to be a cell phone in her hand, the woman in the Sunday Outing photo could be from years ago. Lovely collection, M!

  3. What a wonderful post. It brought back memories of watching a large gathering of dancers on the church steps in Barcelona from my hotel balcony. 🙂

  4. This is a wonderful collection. I like that you took the colour out. It would have been jarring. I think my favourite is “Les Jardins de la Tuilleries – a perennial spot for a Sunday Stroll”. Although, I really like, T”he aqueduct becomes a parking lot, Segovia” and “La quartier Latin” and, …really I can’t decide. They all say so much.

  5. These are precious photos of Sundays, Meredith! I love to go though my old photo albums when I’m not working on my digital photo files 🙂 Now these days we see people wearing T-shirts and flip flops… carrying backpacks and plastic bags… 😀

  6. Meredith, not only are your galleries great example of street life, they are so marvelously evocative of the places they represent. The Paris shots, are my personal favourites, especially your featured image of the Tuileries, Great job as always :-).

  7. Very nicely done, Meredith. Though the styles and activities may have changed over the years, the fact remains that people still flock to the local plaza, piazza, or town square. Find me a seat on the fringe of one and I can sit there for hours and watch the passing parade.

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  9. Those are beautiful photos, and I think the black-and-white tones are perfect for the images. Ah, soldiers everywhere with guns—they were an eye-opening experience for me at 22!

  10. What a wonderful selection of street life, Meredith. I love the ‘fadedness’ of the genuine old shots, but they all work so well. Amazed by that shot in Segovia! Such happy times you’ve had. It’s no wonder that settling is not so easy Very best wishes to you. 🙂

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