Surprise! says this collage from my computer’s filesystem. Remember me?
Summer 2014. Riez, France. Main Street.
Of course, it’s not called Main Street. C’est l’Allée Louis Gardiol. Heavily touristed in the summer, but a paradise anyway if your shopping is done and you can avoid the clamour on market days. The narrow streets above the village center are worn, eclectic, beautiful canyons. A mistaken museum. A lesson in patina and earth-worn color and dust in high sun, defying decay. Mineral.
The locals in conversation in the shade of the residential streets are friendly, down-to-earth, meaning somehow they feel like Earth should feel. They watch sometimes as you photograph their windows and doors, drainpipes and countless other features under construction, renovation or the slow pull of time. They seem used to it, you and your camera. The say bonjour, they smile, then continue their conversations about kids, school, work, and weather as the smell of something-good-cooking passes overhead in the air.
In the collage, Les Garçons just finished lunch at a favorite sidewalk café called Le Purple where the balsamic and olive oil for your Salade Niçoise comes in pump spray bottles. You apply it like hairspray. Remember that Paul-Éric?
Le Purple is gone now. No surprise there.
I miss you Paul-Éric. Hope they play Rufus where you are.