Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The rat race

Funny how in big cities you spend your time running. You run to catch your train, to arrive on time at your next appointment, to shop before the stores close... Even the people in charge of the infrastructure help us save time. Take this people-mover that I photographed in a big metro hub, for example. It allows people who connect from one line to another to go quicker with less effort. The funny part is, half of the people who use it every day probably have a gym membership where they can use a treadmill! (Don't look at me!!)


  1. ...and they probably run all the way!

  2. Oh mon Dieu, Eric! You must literally have to have been lying down on the people-mover to get this shot! Did people stare??? Awesome perspective - Forevermore I'll think of you whenever I board a people-mover!

  3. This is my kind of photo. What an eye you got Eric.

    Ok so maybe a statue is too much, but what about a PDP exhibition?!!!
    You've got the right stuff for it and you know it!

  4. Actually, Eric was horizontal. From all the frantic running in the city, he finally collapsed, exhausted. With his last breath, he snapped this photo. A friendly Parisian (yes, it does exist!) found his camera after the ambulance left. Selflessly, this good Samartaine (!) downloaded the photo onto the blog for us. This is Eric's last view of this world. Meet you in the next one, and don't be late. I'm a voodoo chile, ...

  5. Great shot Eric -perfect for black & white, too.

  6. Here we go again, Eric taking pictures on the ground again... Tsk, tsk..

    Big metro hub... Oh, yeah, I think I know exactly the one you mean! I don't remember that station before they installed that ramp. Must have been a really, really long walk!

    Wait a minute... are you talking about this one:


    or this one?


  7. haha! i just took this in Chatelet today.....and yes, i walk fast on it...i do find that i am always in a rush to things, even if i'm not really in a hurry.

    Eric, i feel like we keep missing each other! i was also at the eiffel tower on the day that you took the photo of the protest, for example, and today i was at Chatelet.

    Tu me suis, alors?? :-P

  8. OMG JEFF!

    WAIT! I JUST heard that...Voodoo Chile...HENDREX RIGHT? WOOOOHOO!

    Sorry for that Eric...was chatting with someone (a Brit) who mentioned that song and I'd NEVER heard it before and here I run into it again on your BLOG...which, for all intents and purposes NOW, is THE center of the Universe!

    Nice people-mover shot too BTW! Used them in the airports a LOT on our trip this time...and yes, we walk briskly while on them AND both have gym memberships!

    LOL! ;)

  9. Eric, Do you have a gym membership? (According to Adam Gopnik, it's not that easy to join a gym in Paris.)

  10. I'm confused Eric. Not about the people-mover, but could someone tell me what is a "gym membership"???

  11. I love the perspective on this photo Eric. The B/W makes it even better! -Ryan of OC Photos

  12. oh, i like this people-mover.
    here in the downtown we have such facility, but crowded. I think I have no chance to lying down and take a nice shot like this.
    i like the B&W result.


  13. LOL Jing! When I read your comment and see your little photo there, I can just imagine you lying down on a people-mover somewhere and it makes me laugh.

  14. Michael,

    You must be kidding about the gym membership?

  15. ...and 100 posts!


  16. I wonder if one day we'll have these along the streets, just to pack in yet more work within our already-stretched time? They are a good idea of course, since 'they do what it says on the tin' but i do often think we should all get more time for just living (don't look at me either Eric!)

  17. LOL Michael me too! Ridiculous places running on the spot going nowhere and listening to/watching bad music or other people's wobbling bottoms. Ugh. Why?

    Monica a book is the thing for Eric i think and we've all been trying to persuade him for AGES ERIC!! to get one published.

    Eric: here's another idea. Can you set up a system for selling prints, one which we can all subscribe to, for selling our own prints too, perhaps with a portal similar to the one you already have where clients can click and buy? Would be good for all of us. Go on, you know you can do it and you know you WANT to. Don't say you've no time, just use these people-movers more often. lol!

    Such a great shot, can't stop looking at it and imagining you laying down (which is not a first for me i might add ;) ;) )

  18. Lynn, I love your idea about Eric selling prints of his photos! This is a fantastic idea! Eric, are you game?

  19. Lynn, rest assure someday we WILL have these along the streets, the purpose being to save us time to do other things in life (just like computers and printers and e-mails, except that it doesn´t save us time, instead we end up using the time we "saved" to work even more or stay in front of the computer for more hours).

    Of course Eric´s got some part of the blame, don´t we all feel like we just can´t stay away from his blog???!!! gee, how many hours a week are we on line?

  20. When I am on these moving sidewalks, I make myself skinny and place the luggage close to the side. Why? Because people run, sometimes walk, on them. They usually give me dirty looks as if to say "Hey stupid, don't just stand there, run like we are doing." I smile to myself because I am enjoying the ride. Let them knock themselves out rushing about like rats in a cage.

  21. lol good for you Johnny!

    Monica; i know, Eric has such magnetism yet he's not actually on here commenting that much! His photos pull us in and the community he has created, together with the idea that he may, just may, pop his head in to give us his thoughts on ours. Devastatingly successful recipe he has!

  22. What a great perspective- how did you do it?!

  23. I know Lynn, I know, we just can´t get enough of Eric (well, I know you and I can´t)
    But let´s be fair with him (after all, the poor guy is all over Paris lying down in public to capture great shots for us!), yesterday he made a lot of comments here.

  24. oh, great shot Eric!
    I think the funny part of this thing is when it ends and you are used to walk that fast but you really can't... i don't if you understand me... maybe if you have tried this you do!

  25. Oh yes i know! He does them all in staccato style and i love it. Bam bam thank you ma'am. Let's hope he slows down a little when we get there Mon' ;)

  26. I know what you're saying, dsole. It's akin to trying to get your land legs back after being on a boat for hours. You walk swiftly or run down the movers with the airport or train station rushing past you and when you get off on the other end you try to keep running but things aren't moving as fast as they feel they should and you about fall over cause your body's momentum is going faster then your legs will allow!

    I'm with Michael. What is this "gym membership" thing people are speaking of? Exercise? What is this?

  27. Jeff,

    don´t you mean Voodoo Child?

    or are you a voodoo in Chile? now what are you doing in Chile??? I thought you were going to Paris...!

  28. Lynn said, "Such a great shot, can't stop looking at it and imagining you laying down (which is not a first for me i might add..."

    Do explain Lynn!

  29. Ha! Ha! Ha!...Even with all their "Help"...I still lose weight in Paris, running through the Metro stations, up and down the stairs...through the correspondance, etc..etc..etc! Who needs a GYM???

    I wonder if those are wooden or metal grids on the "people mover"?? I think that there are some in Paris that are wooden right?? When I was a youngster in Boston[where we have the oldest subway system in America]there were some escalators that were wooden and in the winter with the snow and slush they were rather dangerous and creepy! I hated them! LOL!!

  30. yes Lynn let´s hope he does slow a bit when we get there. But remember, we must arrive unannounced or we might scare him, specially when he find out that lately you´ve been picturing him laying down...

    Although... Eric did say that even if we DON´T behave he will let us in ;-)

  31. Ever notice how people don't quite understand the people-movers? The whole point is to be able to catch your breath before the next run, but most people run along these things, heaven forbid you should be in their way. That's weird because there's usually a walk way beside them where you can run to your heart's content. Cést la vie!

  32. Eric,
    This photo is superb. You have the ability to make the most mundane, functional things appear truly artistic. The B & W has the effect of making it seem almost sinister and the elevation: a cockroach's viewpoint! (Not that I am implying you are a cockroach, far from it, the angle is part of your photographic genius).

  33. Yes Monica i think he will let us in, laying down or not.

    Michael, i think what's going on inside your head needs no further explanation he he !

  34. Regarding selling the PDP photos, you all should know that there are some fabulous photos available on the Spirit of Paris website. I think Eric will agree.

    Ah, upon reverie, I must correct myself. No, I'm not in the country of Chile, Monica. (Though a South American naturally would notice that. Je suis desolee, je suis juste un American stupid.

    "Voodoo Chile" is the first version on Electric Ladyland, the blues version. "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" is the one I was quoting, to wit:

    I didnt mean to take up all your sweet time,
    Ill give it right back to you one of these days.
    I said I didnt mean to take up all your sweet time,
    Ill give it right back one of these days.
    And if I dont meet you no more in this world
    Then I'll meet you in the next one and dont be late, dont be late.
    'Cause Im a voodoo chile, voodoo chile,
    Lord knows Im a voodoo chile
    (Jimi Hendrix, bien sur)

  35. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2999417569188182518

    Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock doing Voodoo Child

  36. Every parisian knows the moving sidewalks ("tapis roulant")in the métro-station "Montparnasse-Bienvenüe" (at Montparnasse railway-station).
    There, you have probably the longest sidewalks in Paris.
    There are 2 sidewalks in parallel going in the same direction: one has normal speed, the other one is going much faster (for experts only..lol).

  37. Jeff i'm sure there are some great photos to buy there, but frankly i'm interested in selling! lol.

    Eric when Mon' and i arrive, i think we should make this a date, this people-mover. You, me, Michael and Mon' all laying down on this mover, giggling and behaving like teens (erm... would it vibrate, do you think? ok, sorry)

  38. oh no Jeff, you´re not stupid at all.

    I was just teasing you!

  39. now Lynn, nothing beats your frantic imagination!

    the scene you described... if Michael was intrigued before, I wouldn´t want to be in his head right now!

  40. lol thanks Mon'. I think. Eric there's some more Liz wedding stuff going on at my blogs if you'd like some more gossip (or anyone else obviously) and some sexy goings on at Things UK too. Hence the vibrating idea popping into my normally innocent head :)

  41. Ok everyone...if you think Eric was flexible to take this photo, click here to see what he was really doing on the "treadmill".

  42. I'll try that today at the gym Michael! I'll let you know later if I am that flexible

    yes, I do have a gym membership.

  43. At work, the system won't let me view your link, Michael, so I'll have to see it at home. Lynn and Monica, laying down on the moving sidewalk may not be much fun, vibrating or not. Looking at the photo after your comment, the image in my head is a garlic press or grater--note the ridges on the 'blades'. Eeeww!

  44. Monica! You traitor! Why, we're all non-gymmers on here aren't we? Ssshhh Mon' we just won't mention it again ok?

    Michael that was hilarious. I had it playing on my laptop and my son (15) came downstairs and without even looking but hearing the music said casually,
    "Treadmill dancing? oh yeah."
    It's obviously done the rounds then! I thought it was fab. Was it Eric in the waistcoat and you with the pink trousers? Thought so.

  45. Hmm good point Jeff. Ok team; re-group. Protective clothing required. Repeat; protective clothing. Could even be fun.

  46. Lynn, how do you suppose I'll be ready to play with you guys in a vibrating moving sidewalk? With lots of practice! Gotta keep those muscles flexible!

  47. LOL Michael- that was so funny! I was caught giggling at my desk while sitting alone! Haxo, thanks for the French translation for "people-mover". Don't think I would have found that one in the dictionnaire!

  48. great photo, really great. It actualy makes the "tapis roulant" look different from this angle...

  49. lol you're streets ahead of me already on that score Monica!

  50. What is the English translation for "tapis roulant". Is it "moving sidewalk" or "people-mover"?
    Translated word by word, "tapis roulant" would be "rolling carpet".

  51. Haxo, I think the correct term is moving sidewalk, but Eric has taken the millenium, modern term, people-mover which also works.

  52. Soooo... I did not lay on the floor to take this photo but I did put my camera on the people mover. And yes people must have thought I was a little crazy... But fortunately when I took I was off peak hours.

    PDP exhibition... Well, I discussed this already several times here and, well I always give the same answer. It takes a lot of time to organize such a thing and... guess what I barely have the time to take a photo a day for this blog so there is really no way I can make an exhibition.

    Jeff, you have too much imagination!!! And guess what, I'm still alive. But you really made me LOL!

    I said a big metro hub because I don't remember which one it was (shame on me). I'm pretty sure it was neither Montparnasse nor les Halles though.

    LOL Nahal. Ooops, tu m'as repéré !

    Never heard of Voodoo Chile either Ame.

    Luggi, I do have a gym membership. Well to be very accurate, I have had a VOUCHER for a gym membership for over a year now... And yes it is very easy to join a gym in Paris. Why wouldn't it be?!

    LOL Michael. Excellent!

    Jing, they are crowded in Paris too but mostly in mornings and evenings.


    Lynn, misplaced Parisian. Sorry my answer is always the same: I have no time!! But I am very flattered by all your encouragements. Time will come though...

    LOL Monica. Sorry...

    Johnny, at least you stay by the side... I hate people who stand in the middle and block the way.

    Kpgallant. Who needs a GYM??? Everybody! Believe me... In Paris people movers are either in metal (like this one) or rubber. In Montparnasse they came up with a high speed one, pretty odd, but pretty efficient.

    Slow down?! I don't think I can do that... Sorry Monica.

    Starman. I belong to this category you despise!!

    Mme Benaut. Thank you very much. And I would never believe you could call me a cockroach LOL!

    Yes Jeff, there are superb photos on Spirit of Paris. I haven't spoken to Michel in a very long time by the way.

    Haxo. Like you say, the high speed one is for expert only - and surely not for old people...

    No Lynn! I will not make a fool of myself even to please you - I live here, remember?!

    Michael this video is truly amazing...

  53. lol oh Eric i would not want to make a fool of you, ever. Too much respect for you for that. Misplaced Parisian, i like it!

  54. Eric, an artist like you should have a manager to organize the exhibition for you! Simple!

  55. Michael, loved the vid too. I've seen an Ok Go vid before, perhaps two. They rock. Hubby told me their vids are all done in one take, which I assume means they practive their bums off until it's perfect before shooting a vid. If it's true and they do do it all in one shot without screwing up once, even if they do practice a ton before hand, I'm truly colored impressed. No way I'd ever be that coordinated!!!

    Michael said...
    Lynn said, "Such a great shot, can't stop looking at it and imagining you laying down (which is not a first for me i might add..."

    Do explain Lynn!

    Must you really encourage them, Michael?!?

    (*tongue-sticky-out at lynn&cohorts*)

  56. I love that video, always makes me smile. They performed it live on some awards show. It was amazing to see and I know it's online somewhere.

  57. Ok, I'm relieved to know you didn't lie down on the people mover for this shot. I love the point of view, the blurred foreground and the perspective of the lines, the figures ahead. This is a great shot.

    BTW, I always wondered as a child why we moved faster walking on a people mover at the airport than we did on the walkway beside it. When an adult I was still trying to explain to myslef how this happened, so I asked a physicist friend. He said it's because there are two velocities going on instead of just one when one walks on a moving walkway. I hate standing on them or escalators and like to keep walking.

  58. Hi Kim! Glad to see you! How is Seattle these days?

  59. lol Soosh! I bet if you were there, you'd be right there laying down with us i just know it!