Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Boulevardier-style shopping

Competing with the reflections of the building across the street represents a challenge for the bucktoothed bunny trying to sell guitars. But he obviously caught the attention of the photographer reflected below.

A breeze, a forgotten summer, a smile, all can fit into a storefront window.

Dejan Stojanovic, a Serbian poet and journalist

We found Bordeaux about the most pedestrian-friendly city we have ever wandered around, which meant we had ample time for window-shopping as we ambled about. People who have downsized twice have little interest in acquiring anything beyond calories, so it’s an amusing, inexpensive past-time. Often reflections capture our attention as much as the displays.

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Postcard from Bordeaux, France: A revolutionary evolution of responsible development

With the installation of a new bridge across the Garonne on the horizon, in 2008 the city of Bordeaux purchased a large compound of old military barracks on the right bank of the river with an eye toward tearing them down to stimulate economic development. The timing proved fortuitous for a young man, Philippe Barre, growing restless with his tech business, Inoxia, in a small town in Bordeaux.

Barre presented the concept for a green business center in the barracks to the ambitious mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppe, who was jockeying for a shot at the Best European City Award. The proposal appeared to have sparked the interest of one of the judges, so it received a green light.

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Postcards from Bordeaux, France: A sign for ‘Turn back for great meals’

Above, puzzling signage at one end of Rue du Ha

Sidewalk tables at Orta on Rue du Ha

To my English-attuned ears, the name of the street sounds somewhat silly, but I believe the “Ha” came from a 1600s temple nearby that belonged to an order of nuns. The narrow street barely runs three blocks and was about that distance from the apartment we rented in Bordeaux. We were on the prowl and hungry, and I laughed that the reason we settled into the last table available on the sidewalk of Orta was the sign on the corner seemingly forbidding any kind of safe exit from Rue du Ha.

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