Above: Place de la Trinité
When I started sorting through our images of Toulouse, more shots seemed to be landing in the random file than normal. Part of that is the patterns of the city itself. The imaginative use of brick and stone, far more striking than the staid formal Williamsburg-look abundant in my original home state. And the way Toulouse tends to reuse not tear down the old, with an unbridled free-spirited approach to mixing centuries of architectural styles in the same block.
The featured photo at the top is of my favorite plaza, Trinity, reconfigured in the early 19th-century by the city’s architect, Jacques-Pascal Virebent (1746-1831). Virebent’s stamp on the city was enduring, an example being the Place du Capitole, a space he actually opened up to create more uniformity by tearing out some medieval residences hemming in the Capitol. While the Place du Capitole impresses by its size, my preference by far is his Trinity Plaza, Crayola-colorful and remarkable because of the intimacy provided by its triangular shape. The restaurants and cafes found on it always have packed patios, several attracting primarily seniors from the neighborhood undeterred by others appealing to crowds of university students. The fountain design was chosen competitively, with the winner Urbain Vitry (1802-1863), the architect for Les Abattoirs the blog visited earlier.
Toulouse is proud of its hometown talents, and a series of statues visually conveys why they are memorialized to visitors.
The people of Toulouse are renowned for their passionate protests. This fairly festive one had a rather catchy musical beat going on, even though it probably was a march against requirements for vaccination passes required almost everywhere, regulations for which we were thankful.
My camera was drawn to the careful attentive labors of bookbinders when we walked by their storefront…
…and a band of street musicians divvying up their tips after performing alongside the River Garonne.
There was a bar with a name my father, aka Goober, might have chosen if he owned such an establishment, this one in a Basque part of town employing Spanish instead of French. Peanuts sent three girls to college.
I’m never really sure whether the pictures taken on a trip reveal more about the places they are snapped or the person behind the lens. And, generally, the photos posted on this blog site add to that confusion because the camera frequently is passed back and forth between the Mister and me. Sometimes, even I’m not sure which one of us took what as we boulevardiered about.
But I thought he would want a disclaimer for most of this batch, particularly the low-brow shots that follow. Pure mine, traceable back to when I was a small-town girl suddenly thrust into the midst of Paris in college. The right many males exercised of peeing almost anywhere they pleased took me by surprise.
Well, Toulouse officials are tackling those who have been reticent to give up their freedom to unzip and let it rip whenever they feel the calling. Warnings of major fines of $500 are posted prominently as part of this ongoing campaign. While not comforting the modest, handy uritrottoirs/planters, positioned in some of the tempting side streets for men seeking for relief, eliminate much of the offensive odor.
Somehow, I think anyone receiving a $500 fine soon would be out rallying a crowd to protest. Old habits die hard, and French men are committed to protecting their liberté. And, what do these photos reveal about the person holding the camera? At least she didn’t stoop so low as to take photos of uritrottoirs in use.