5 February 2011

What Lies Beneath


Blurbanism ∕ Cities ∕ Earth Junk ∕ Signage ∕ Structural Collapse

For all I know, it is possible to make a living from what gets dropped into the Thames. But treasure hunting seems to me more of a pastime, a game of serendipity and hide-and-seek.

South Bank, London

More conventional urban treasure hunting is to be found in picking through boxes of cut-price books. This is of course a popular pastime in Paris, particularly along the Seine. This neat shopfront design playfully tempts the passerby to delve into the shop’s innards. The loss leaders in the boxes draw us in.

Place de la Sorbonne, Paris

This untidy French shopfront certainly does not draw us in, at least not anymore. But the decaying lettering has left us with the decrepit painting business of ‘M. Badin’, which translates as ‘Mister Playful’. Serendipity or joke?

L'Isle-Adam, France