some emergent markets


Raw, Unedited Footage… by Daphne Lasky
July 14, 2010, 10:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

…of the pouring rain here in Paris. Hope this doesn’t put a damper on your Bastille Day plans!

[UPDATE: the rain is even scarier now!]

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urban streams by jhuang
July 11, 2010, 7:56 am
Filed under: Paris | Tags: , ,

There is certainly no shortage of water on the streets of Paris with its daily street cleaning routine.  In addition to the cleaning trucks, water valves are released twice a day, creating a a network of urban streams that flow along the curbs or in the middle of the streets.  Apparently, the flushing of the streets has been going on from as early as the turn of the 20th century.  Is water perceived as a sanitizer rather than a thirst quencher?  Is that why most fountains in markets are not used?

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water not needed by jhuang
July 7, 2010, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Paris | Tags: , , ,

At the Monge Market, the fountains were largely ignored as a water source and were certainly does not attract large numbers of people (unlike Rome…see earlier posts: A little water? & Nero on fountains).  As seen below, one is not used at all while the larger centerpiece has transformed into a trash collection area.
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This is the only functioning one, but it was off on the edge of the market and was used very little (probably mostly by vendors).
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This fountain at Bourse Market was used, but by a vendor.

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Nero on Fountains by Daphne Lasky
June 18, 2010, 1:22 pm
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Jie picked up a copy of Nero at the American Academy last week, and we’re just now getting around to looking through it. One excerpt addresses the public fountains throughout the city:

An English friend of ours says that Rome is the best city to live in if you’re a bum. One of the reasons could be that it’s full of fountains, and above all drinking fountains, continuously flowing with fresh spring water. Which allow you, for example, to shave and freshen up after sleeping under a pine tree in one of the city’s marvelous parks. Finding yourself in front of the crystalline stream, you feel like you’re in Arcadia, the pile of garbage facing you no less than a Greek temple. (p. 27, Nero, No. 23)

We’ve noticed that while the Campo de Fiori’s buried electrical infrastructure is all but ignored, its lowly drinking fountains are huge attractors. People use them for drinking water, to wash fruits and vegetables, to freshen up wilting flowers, and even to mix concrete for nearby construction projects.



a little water? by jhuang
June 18, 2010, 12:11 pm
Filed under: Rome | Tags: , , , ,

As seen in an earlier post on Piazza Farnese, it needs some help.  We would love to see it lively with crowds like the nearby Campo de’ Fiori.  After a couple of weeks of emptiness, we were surprised to see the piazza occupied by an art festival the other day:
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It came across as a fully occupied piazza at first glance, but in closer examination, we were disappointed to find only [sub-par] art with a light sprinkling of visitors.  We think it is because of the heat.  The piazza has so much potential, one of which could be water.  Water seems to attract people both for basic life necessities…

…and for live cobblestone renditions of “Blacktop”:
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Could we bring relief by drawing water from the fountains?  Could we also take advantage of the ground modulation and begin rerouting various quantities of water to potential “wild” vegetated patches?