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March 26, 2013 6:20 AM   Subscribe

Paris 1900-2013 by photos: Color photographs of Paris from the 1910s side-by-side with photographs of today. Now with swipey magic.
posted by shakespeherian (16 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I love these...thanks..

And, if I had to make the trip and got to choose the era, it would be an easy choice...
posted by HuronBob at 6:23 AM on March 26, 2013


Stupid cars.
posted by The Whelk at 6:27 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hah! Man, if Paris were still that quaint and gritty I wouldn't have given up on it after only four years. These days it's a little like living in Disneyland: expensive, touristy and – wait, is there really good food at Disneyland but everyone freaks out about you being vegetarian despite the fact that there are tons of great vegetarian options? I rescind my simile.
posted by Mooseli at 6:33 AM on March 26, 2013

Building-side hand painted advertising is a lost art, for sure. Now we get vinyl lettering, blown up digital shots of kebabs and neon. Lots of neon.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:52 AM on March 26, 2013

This is kind of awesome. I like how the tabac is still there on rue Basfroi is still there. And, yes the hand-painted signs were way cooler.
posted by shoesietart at 7:03 AM on March 26, 2013

I agree that, to us, the hand-painted signs look cooler. Imagine being an Edwardian, though, and being able to swipe that swipy-thing the other way and see all the dreary commercial clutter replaced by clean lines and bright colours and blazing, whitewashed walls. I think they might be as charmed by our world as we are by theirs.
posted by Dreadnought at 7:24 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

SPOILER ALERT you are all the subject of Midnight in Paris.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:25 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Neat - love the signage too, though I must say, having lived in parts of France where the painted-on-buildings style is still around, it's a bit of an eyesore when it's on your building. (A lot of those are in fact apartment buildings with ground-store shops, they're not owned all-out by the advertisers.) On preview, indeed, it's relaxing to see clean lines and colours.

The rest of the country ages a bit more slowly (small photoset from 2012 of older and newer signage in Nice by yours truly, if curious), and here in Nice I've even been noticing old-style lettering and painting coming back. Plus, in a few months this city will have newly-cleaned façades in and around the center, thanks to our mayor making it all historical and thus requiring all buildings who hadn't had it done recently, to get their façades renovated. I'm hoping the old-style signage I've been noticing is also part of that...
posted by fraula at 7:28 AM on March 26, 2013

Ooh, was just reminded of my old apartment building. Worth a look if you love building painting and Art Nouveau: 14bis rue Marceau. The whole thing is painted that way, but since it's in a narrow street it's quite difficult to get all of it, even with a wide angle.
sorry for the two comments in a row, only remembered later
posted by fraula at 7:35 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

From the fourth picture:

[The power plant] consumed 150 tons of coal a day (hence the smokestacks), shipped in by the river, to produce enough steam to power the Metro. Kids swam there, because the plant discharged hot water. They called this place "hot water."

ah, la gloire du temps passé
posted by theodolite at 7:37 AM on March 26, 2013

Something about swiping my mouse and replacing a old Lion Noir (shoe polish, I think) sign with new signage for the air conditioned Maison de Gyros tickles me WAY more than it should.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:56 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm amazed at how few of the storefront businesses have persisted. Most of these photos are in ordinary neighborhoods, where people live day to day. I'd naïvely thought that if there's a boulanger on a street there today it was a boulanger 100 years ago too, just passed on and renamed. I didn't realize commerce moved around so much in Paris. I love the city, but it feels so ossified.
posted by Nelson at 8:06 AM on March 26, 2013

These are fantastic.

One thing I notice is they had ugly security shutters a century ago.
posted by caddis at 8:21 AM on March 26, 2013

Is it me or does anyone else now have Emmylou Harris's "1917" and the Godfather's Sicilian Theme fighting it out in their head?

Love this. THanks.
posted by notsnot at 12:02 PM on March 26, 2013

These are great. Thanks, shakespeherian.
posted by homunculus at 10:02 PM on March 26, 2013

SPOILER ALERT you are all the subject of Midnight in Paris.

Time slip!
posted by homunculus at 10:03 PM on March 26, 2013

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