5:30 am, in the month of August 1976, more than 200km/h, a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9, gray. On board Claude Lelouch, Jacques Lefrançois, Henri Querol.
For Paris-based record collector Thomas Henry, the history of vinyl is particularly fascinating. For years, he’s been amassing 78 rpm records, shellac-based phonographic discs made between 1898 and 1950. He even runs a blog about this era of recorded music. Now, he’s putting together a comprehensive map of the record stores that operated in Paris starting at the very end of 19th century and on into the first half of the 20th (the website is in French).
Disquaires de Paris (Record Stores of Paris) is an interactive guide to the city’s record shop scene from 1890 through 1960, with archival materials that connect to each pinpointed store.
“Corridors of Power,” a series of photographs by Swiss photographer Luca Zanier, is a striking look at important places entirely devoid of the important people who usually inhabit them. The tour takes us through board rooms, assembly halls, parliaments, and more than one room in the United Nations. These are the cavernous spaces where history is shaped.
The series began several years ago when Zanier visited the French Communist Party headquarters, in Paris, designed by modernist master Oscar Niemeyer. The room Zanier chose to shoot, with its strangely textured mauve walls, makes it feel a little bit like you’re a cellular-sized version of yourself trapped inside a human organ. The UN Security Council room in New York is as colorful as a pack of Starburst, while the FIFA executive boardroom, in Zurich, is pretty much exactly the War Room from Dr. Strangelove, for whatever that’s worth.
Each interior has its own unique character, but there’s clearly a shared language among them. It’s hard not to notice the startling symmetry, the simple geometries rendered at imposing scale.
I love this kind of stuff. From the always brilliant Atlantic Cities:
The Paris Métro, opened in 1900, extends over more than 200 kilometers of track, serving more than 300 individual stops. But there are 11 more stations that, though once built, now stand nearly abandoned. Many of these “ghost” or “phantom” stations shuttered after the occupation during WWII. Two of them, Porte Molitor and Haxo, never opened at all.
Parisian mayoral candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet has a bold plan for these phantom stations. The center-right candidate, known as NKM to her supporters, has argued that these abandoned spaces should be reclaimed for the city’s residents.
To envision what these future public spaces could look like, NKM teamed up with architect Manal Rachdi and urban planner Nicolas Laisné. They drew up a few crazy-looking renderings to get started, starting with Arsenal, a 4th arrondissement station closed since 1939. She has pledged to solicit more inventive ideas if elected (though her opponent, Socialist Anne Hidalgo, is the frontrunner).
I wish they’d gone ahead and built one of these designs:
Inspired by the financial success of the Eiffel Tower — which was erected in Paris for the 1889 World’s Fair — a group of Englishmen attempted to bang out their own ersatz Eiffel a year later. This contest to design the never-to-be “Great Tower of London” received 68 designs. Some resemble alien fortresses and all of them would’ve (supposedly) prompted an international Eiffel Tower arms race.