Parisian trainspotters have for years hoarded a special secret. It’s located next to the Metro Station Villiers in the 17th arrondissement, in a storage track that used to be a terminal loop for Metro Line 3 before it was extended. Inside, some very old trains lie dormant, their slumber undisturbed by regular visits by spray painters and photographers. Most of them are in an advanced state of decay.
Soon, this heritage will be gone, the trains will receive judgement: damned to dismantlement, or, for a select few deemed the most emblematic and unique, blessed with preservation. Take a tour with us today in this photo series taken over the course of two months from December 2014 to January 2015 of the abandoned trains, as well as a warehouse for restored metro cars.
By day, Charles Leval is an artist and teacher in Paris. In his spare time, he’s a street artist that goes by the name Levalet and has been adding some humor onto the streets of Paris since at least 2012. Often using objects already embedded into walls, his wheat paste works plays on the architecture of the streets themselves. While this style of work inevitably draws comparison to Banksy, he also institutes an almost still-life like method, perhaps from his training as an artist, by inserting found objects into his scenes from books, umbrellas, pool cues, wine glasses to even an electric piano. Others pieces have a time lapse nature to them.
We previously published about Gustav Eiffel’s fabulous apartment inside the Eiffel Tower, with a modern-day image but Messy Nessy just surfaced some vintage photographs of the shabby chic apartment where he entertained guests like Thomas Edison. The photographs were taken by the “Neurdein brothers” the official photographers of the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. Here is a link to more of the images of the apartment which was on the fourt floor (285 meters above the ground, reads the caption).
You may not have heard of Amadeus, but you’ve definitely used the company’s technology while searching for travel plans. Amadeus powers the booking engines of many of the world’s leading airlines and travel companies and now they’re providing these same technological tools directly to the consumer with the website Amadeus.net. Instead of the typical drop down search process, Amadeus lets you fill in the blanks with what you are looking for, just like writing a sentence. There are some neat tools, like semantic search, where you can fill in activities (like art, skiing or fooding), location and time of year and it will match with flight plans. It’s just in beta phase right now but there are hoping users like you can help test out the site.
Last night the New Yorker released its cover for next week’s issue in honor of the attacks at Charlie Hebdo in Paris. By Ana Juan, the illusration shows the Eiffel Tower as the symbolic pencil of journalists, tipped in red amidst a sandstorm of blood. Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young notes, “As a New Yorker, and a writer on Paris with a French husband and a French family now, I have to admit that this image really hit home. Maybe it was the similarity to the cloud of dust at Ground Zero–showing the vulnerability of a recognizable landmark as the symbol of a country’s pain emphasize the shared responsibility the global community has.”
Paris-based photojournalist Steven Wassenaar, a contributor to Untapped Cities who previously showed us life amidst war on the border of Syria and Lebanon, shared with us this photo series he took three years ago at an editorial meeting in the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine attacked on the morning of January 7th, 2015. When we saw these images Wednesday afternoon, it brought to life the individual tragedies that now form the raison d’etre for the solidarity expressed on the global stage. It seemed only fitting a few hours later to see New Yorkers and French expatriates put faces to the tragedy in a gathering in Union Square on Wednesday night. Photographs of the eyes of the victims, printed in a style reminiscent of French artist JR’s “Women are Heroes” in the Providência favela of Rio de Janeiro, were held up. “Je Suis Charlie” signs and chants of “We are Charlie” echoed.
Photo by Yana Bannikova
Maybe this expression has prominence because the victims were public figures, or because the messages of Charlie Hebdo were consumed by a collective nation. But it gives us pause as journalists. How can we strive to make reporting of such tragedies more than just numbers?
All four artists killed are present here (Stéphane Charbonnier also known as Charb, Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabu et Tignous also known as Bernard Verlhac)
At Untapped Cities, a good percentage of our team is from France–either living there or working here in the United States, including illustrator David Cessac who passed in 2014. We are Charlie too, and we hope this photo series from Steven Wassenaar inside the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo can highlight even more, the people lost yesterday. Incredibly, Charlie Hebdo will release its next issue on schedule, with an increased print run of 1 million copies next Wednesday.