Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Paris Today

This is not Paris today, this is Paris everday, the highway A6.  Luckily it is not my everyday ride.  I hate driving, I don’t even own a car and if someone gave me one I’d sell it.   But sometimes you just have to drive one on a highway, out of town to get what you need.

I didn't have a truck like this one parked on Boulevard Richard Lenoir close to scene of the recent terrorist attack on Paris.

Here’s the car I wanted to take.  I'd drive that anywhere.  Even if someone smashed it in the parking lot, it's still hot. Note: two reasons to avoid automobile ownership in Paris: Damage by others and undesired nightime visits.

The A6 is one of the tarmac belts winding around the city of lights.   It won’t take you to the Hotel de Ville or the Pont Neuf but it will take you to IKEA, Orly and beyond. It may never be on Ricks  Steeves's off-the-beaten path but it is a scenic drive if you're into grafitti.  It's a an extra-urban gallery viewable on a flyby.  The taggers risk their lives.  If you've read my posts about the taggers who die to graff, you know.

funny gifs

Climbing to a heaven spot over speeding traffic, probably at the heart of the night, to bomb the back of a traffic sign has to be risky.  I can't imagine the thrill.  It doesn't inspire me.  But I love the work these anonymous artist do to decorate the A6, an otherwise ugly strip of cement.

 The taggers most likely don't have ladders to climb up to those heaven spots.

funny gifs

I wonder how they access these places and to what extremes they are willing to go.  The A6, or any highway, is an extremely dangerous place to stroll along and spray paint.  The anti-sound barrier is covered wall-to-wall in throw-ups,  kilometers of paint.

Even the cement pylons in the meridian between the lanes are bombed.  Graffers  have to cross one of the lanes to get there, I doubt there is an underground passage.

Why do these people risk their lives to graff these ugly places?  I don't know. I've been researching this for over a year.  Graffiti in Paris struck me when I moved here.  I wasn't used to it.  I doubt I ever will be. What makes graffers tick.  I've come to beleive that it is freedom of expression at its extreme. 

Just entering Paris there is a ribbon of tiles that is there to beautify.  It was surely funded by public money.  Taggers left their mark and paste-ups publicize concerts.  When it's gridlock drivers have the time to read the small type.

Even the underpasses burn with graffiti.

This really is Paris.  Can you see the Eiffel tower?  That's avenue d' Ivry.

Is there a highway near you that is covered in graffiti?  Send me photos and tell me where they are.  I'll post them here.