Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Walking Cello!


A very Parisian scene today and... a very odd way of carrying such a music instrument through the streets of Paris! I took this shot rue Montmartre (2nd arrondissement) while I was having a drink with friends on a terrace. Of course, I found out later that this lady did not just happen to carry her cello (is it really a cello?)... She was actually playing it in front of each café, to collect a few euros - (of course, I contributed ;).

65 comments:

  1. But was she playing it this way?? What an amazing photo, Eric!

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  2. I was just going to leave my desk and get on the subway, but then I saw uselaine's comment on the previous post and I had to try for the North Americans (who would all just as soon be in Paris probably).

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  3. Yay Alexa!!! You rock!!!

    Eric, it looks like a string bass, rather than a cello.

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  4. Or maybe I meant to say acoustic bass. It's much more heavy than a cello in any case. We used to take turns playing them in junior high girls' chorus. PLunk-plunk PLunk-plunk.

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  5. Not an expert, but it may simply looks like a double bass given the size? Excellent photo Eric. Cheers, Loic http://brohardphotography.blogspot.com

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  6. That's the word - "double" bass. My brain is very very old. It slips, it falls. Unlike the girl in the photo.

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  7. bass, double bass, string bass, upright bass, they're all the same ;-)

    Not a cello anyway !

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  8. Yes, it's a "contrebasse", not a "violoncelle".
    Both marvellous instruments anyway.

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  9. Eric, I noticed that you blocked some of the faces using distorted pixels. May I ask why?

    One word, violin.

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  10. And what was she playing? Jazz or java? Or...?

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  11. What a great photo! I'm glad you gave her a donation Eric - maybe she's saving up to buy a rolling stand so she doesn't have to carry her double bass over her head.

    I'll be bold like Lois and say that I once dated a double bass player who was also very into bike racing (especially le Tour de France) and on a visit to Paris I saw a poster in a shop window that showed someone carrying a double bass on the back of his bicycle and I managed to convince the shopkeeper that I just HAD to have the poster.

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  12. Awesome photo, Eric -- love it. : ) Awesome fingers, Alexa! USElaine I'm still giggling!! Thib - merci pour les mots Francaise -- aussi nouveaux pour moi (sp/gr?)!!!

    Learning French is turning out to be like learning the violoncelle: How do you get to the Acadamie Francaise? Practice, practice, practice!


    How does she balance that thing??

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  13. Isn't that a saxophone in the lower right? Bass, saxophone: right up Coltrane's alley.

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  14. I love it no matter what it is. Eric, you are always ready when presented with an opportunity to shoot for us. I love the way your head works and your eyes see.

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  15. Good for her. A nice way to attract a crowd and get paid.

    Abraham Lincoln
    —Brookville, Ohio

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  16. I love the Parisian street scene. To watch life go by at your favorite cafe and if your lucky a street musician may be playing lovely music nearby.

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  17. David - I think Eric is trying to avoid breaking French privacy laws. I think it involves not publishing any recognizable faces without consent.

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  18. Very cool! I would love to hear her play!

    I went to listen to songs from "Carmen" today in the park, it was lovely!

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  19. Too funny! I am listening to my own resident cello player as I type this!

    Great photo! So many things to see, and of course the instrument flying through the crowd.

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  20. Uselaine, Thanks, I'm familiar with that law, I've had French police officers tell me not to take photos of them. I guess that I'm wondering why some are and some aren't.

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  21. I agree with Laurie Keller: Eric, I love the way you think and see, and how you translate that into a photo. Being "on the spot" doesn't hurt.

    I've been away and haven't had access to the internet every day, so am catching up on pictures. What a great bunch you've posted over the last few days. But it's terrible that you don't get a vacation!

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  22. Great shot Eric - nice comical "treat."

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  23. Oops. Sorry David. I've become sensitized to photography problems here in the US, and jumped in too soon. I've seen the UK get downright nutty on public photography, and now the mythology of cameras being dangerous has spread to California.

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  24. Makes it hard to take a picture in a crowded place like this. I don't even know what the law is here in NY regarding public photography. Are the police going to come someday and confiscate my laptop??
    You know, I think this contrebasse is bigger than its owner. How does she DO that?

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  25. katie -- forgot to say: I love your story about the bass-playing boyfriend.

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  26. Eric...having a drink with friends on a terrace sounds grand! Just as grand as that "bajo" the lovely woman is carrying. BTW - from one who knows,"thanks for leaving a tip." Tips are called "diaper money" around my home these days.

    Tall G-Man...you've a good eye. I'd say that fellow she's talking to is a tenor sax man. Note the strap around his neck. I would hope he would be playing Paris's own Selmer product. He's no doubt heard of a fellow named John Coltrane. Ya think?

    Alexa...excuse me, Queen Louise XIV, you snagged the GF crown again! High Ten! I will say that it is nice the crown is still on tour in the US for another day!;-)

    Katie...thanks for sharing your story. I hope that besides the bass, your boyfriend gave you a ride on his bicycle, too. Or did he make you carry the bass while he pedalled? ;-)

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  27. ahhhhh! this photo makes me imagine a beautiful summer evening on a terrace having drinks with friends watching the world go by...
    Contributing to musicians is so important, I am so happy you did so Eric.

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  28. Alexa - I forgot to say bravo on another GF!

    Coltrane how cool that you noticed the sax in the photo! But then again, I'm not surprised by your eagle eye for details. Thankfully I never had to carry my ex-boyfriend's bass, although I did have to listen to him practice all the time, which got old very fast. And I never got a ride on his bike (it was a custom-made one that I wasn't allowed to even breathe on). However after the bass guy I dated a tuba player who had a bicycle built for two!

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  29. ahhhhh! this photo makes me imagine sipping with a beautiful friend on a summer evening, in the company of le diable, as time goes by...

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  30. It was hot yesterday so hopefully you got to enjoy a little taste of "Summertime" from her strings.

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  31. OHHH!!!! I get it now! There's a person under it! LOL! I thought it was just standing there by itself. DUH me!

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  32. Alexa and Guille, You two are the GF champions. Are you two keeping count? I mean, at the next PDP picnic, are we going to give you a trophy?

    Katie, "I'll be bold like Lois and say..." LOLove Once after I said something not too important, the man I was talking to said, "You must be very brave; or, dumb (blonde) to say that". I'm an artist, we have a reputation for being out-spoken. That is why throughout history we have spent time in jail or we were executed. BTW, I spent time in jail once. That's another story.

    Tall Gary, "Isn't that a saxophone in the lower right?" I noticed other musicians too. I thought maybe they were part of a group?

    Katie, "...after the bass guy I dated a tuba player who had a bicycle built for two!" Stop! stop! You are way too funny! You bring to mind the band in the film "Some Like it Hot".

    David, "I've had French police officers tell me not to take photos of them." I remember a year or so back (a few of times) when Eric had to leave a site because the police were getting angry at him. And then there was that time he left off photographing a demonstration just before he thought was was going to stampeded. Then there was the time of him photographing demonstrators torching a car.

    Eric, You are my HERO -- "you must be very brave; or .... " Actually, I think it takes a lot of guts to be a journalist.

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  33. "And then there was that time he left off photographing a demonstration just before he thought "he" was going to stampeded." I hate to repeat myself, what's with my "was was" :-s

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  34. That's funny! I had real problems this year getting good shots from the Fête de la Musique - don't know why - musicians just seemed to have loads of dancers in front of them or big crowds and... well, I'd love to have seen this girl anyway!

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  35. Yet again, Eric, you've managed to make me feel as though I'm in Paris ... at least for one delightful moment!

    By the way, it is not unusual for me to meet Parisians visiting Nashville. Now I find myself asking them if they've heard about PDP and jotting down the URL for them if not. I tell them it's what gives me a daily taste of Paris until I can return in person. :)

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  36. Coltrane, Yeah, man, I didn't even notice the strap... I don't know mouthpieces for codpieces but it looks distinctive. How many people, I wonder, realize that Paris had a starring role in the creation of the saxophone: "The saxophone was developed in the 1840s by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian-born instrument-maker, flute player, and clarinetist working in Paris."

    Yeah, Michael:
    Summertime,
    And the livin' is easy
    Fish are jumpin'
    And her bass is sure high

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  37. The crowd's a singin'
    And the sax-o-phone's wailing
    Hush lil Gary
    Soon you'll grow to be high...

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  38. Your bassist's rich
    And the tubist's good looking
    So hush little Katie
    Ride in style

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  39. One of these mornings
    Lois will rise up painting
    Then she'll spread her oils
    And her scarf she will tie

    But till that morning
    There's a'nothing can harm her
    With Eric's PDP standing by

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  40. Summertime
    And the livin' is easy
    Fish are jumpin'
    And Michael is wry

    Your bassist's rich
    And the tubist's good looking
    So hush little Katie
    Ride in style

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  41. Lois, I was walking around Place Du Paris Notre Dame when I spied this very attractive police woman. She was with two male officers and I every time I attempted to take her picture one of the male police officers would block my shot. One of them finally came over and told me that it wasn't allowed to take photos of police officers. Pardon...

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  42. Michael, Tall Gary, brilliant!
    Now there's music on PDP ;-)
    I can hear this great song with your lyrics... wow!

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  43. Contrebasse!
    Nice and fun picture, I like the fact that we can't see her face.

    In the summertime, when the weather is hot...
    Michael and TGary you're really funny! I wish I could do the same!

    Lois, I'm okay for the trophy. LOL What about you GF Alexa?

    Monica, ma chère Monica, special Hi!
    Where's the lovely Lynn?

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  44. It looks to me like she her favorite music would be a march.

    In Tamarindo, Costa Rica, there is a tradition on ranches in the area of cowboys who sing ballads. A quartet walks around town to all of the restaurants and sings requests at each table who will give them a tip.

    They play several different types of guitars. I have never seen a cowboy with a double bass.

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  45. He he...great photo. I suppose it was safest, high above the bustling crowd. Hi all!

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  46. Lois, surely you were merely visiting someone in jail?;-)

    Don't even try to photograph the American Embassy or you will get a severe finger wagging.

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  47. Summer in Paris
    Tall G-Man is waxing
    Tales of PDPers
    With Michael joinin' in

    Eric's camera is rich
    And his photos good lookin'
    Don't hush little Suzy
    Say ET! ET! ET!

    One of these mornings
    Guille's going to rise up singing
    In her best English (of course)
    "I'm really GF again!"

    But till that morning
    There's Alexa with the crown
    With all us PDPers standing by

    Summer in Paris...

    [Hey, I couldn't resist the urge to add to a brilliant lyric. Fivers TG and M!]

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  48. Cali, No, I wasn't visiting anyone. It was right after dinner. About 10:30 pm or so. I was walking up to my door. I had just come home from Cafe Bastille. A woman from behind me said put your hands up and back up. I was just maybe 8 or 10 feet from my apartment door. By her tone of voice, it sounded like she had a gun or weapon. So I did what she said. She told me to put my hands on her police car. She put hand cuffs on me and started poking me with her stick. I told her that she was hurting me. She asked me are you resisting arrest????? I said, no. She did not ask me for my ID or who I was or anything. I thought she was going to take me to a field somewhere and beat the hell out of me and maybe kill me. A male policeman was with her. He said to her that what she was doing wasn't necessary -- he sounded like he was afraid of her. He asked her if she was sure? I had no idea what they were talking about. She said, Oh, yeah, I'm sure. After nearly breaking both my hands and arms with her stick, she put me in the back of the police car. They took me to jail and left. They put me in a large cell. A policeman came in; and, I asked him why they arrested me. He said there had been a mistake. And they were going to release me shortly. They didn't. Around midnight young prostitutes started entering my cell. Teenage prostitutes except for one. It was very educational. I spent the morning talking with them about their lives. They took a look at me and called me a business woman. I was wearing a grey suit. I told them that I was an artist and they started to open up to me. One would not stop crying. Around 8 am or 9 am my daughter came and picked me up. She demanded that I press charges. I went to court the next morning and asked the judge for the police report. He motioned to one of the men in the courtroom. The man said to him that there was no police report, and all charges had been dropped. The judge looked surprised. I told him that I wanted to know what was going on -- and where was I to go to find out. Court clerks told me to go to Room such and such. I said, "Thank you Your Honor" to the judge. The Judge said "Good Honey, Luck" (he messed up, I think he meant Good Luck, Honey). He turned red, and the courtroom laughed. I smiled at him and left. The rest of the story would be called investigation and cover-up. There isn't a short version of this story yet as it recently happened to me, and this is the first time that I have written about it.

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  49. Lois...Wow! That's another remarkable story. You have lived a colorful life. Glad you made it out of that mess, "Honey!" ;-)

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  50. Such a scary, horrible story, Lois. The Judge got one thing right: you are a good honey.

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  51. David, "In Tamarindo, Costa Rica, there is a tradition on ranches in the area of cowboys who sing ballads. A quartet walks around town to all of the restaurants and sings..." That sounds really FUN!

    Coltrane, You are so sweet. Merci! "...colorful life..." Do you mean like "day-glow paint"?

    Cali, I insist that you tell your Paris police story. Don't be shy ;-)

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  52. I will email the story to you! It is not as colorful as yours, thank God. I feel more embarrassed than shy to tell it, okay and a little pissed off! Not such a good combination.

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  53. lois -- wow! I would have been SO angry (and I hardly ever get angry). In fact, I am angry now, on your behalf.

    katie, I'm guessing you finally wound up with a guy who rides a rolling piano and plays honky-tonk as pedals down the road.

    tg, michael, and coltrane -- you've made my (summertime) day! Hope Eric is as amused as the rest of us with your musical wit.

    guille -- trophy or no trophy, what I wouldn't give to be able to make it to the next PDP pique-nique!

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  54. Cali and Alexa, Wow -- you are so supportive. You are really wonderful and so compassionate. I really thought I was going to be killed though.

    You think you are safe at home in front of your door. A friend told me afterwards, "Yes, we fool ourselves into thinking that we are safe, however, no place is really safe."

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  55. My goodness, Lois, was that in Paris? I'd have been terrified, as my French isn't as good as yours. I would have been so confused. You were very brave.

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  56. Petrea, It was in San Francisco. Cali had a frightening experience with the Paris police though. I'm trying to get her to share it with PDP because something can be learned from it. They also didn't ask to see her ID. Which she said she had left in her hotel room as she was just going out for a quick breath of fresh air -- just around the block.

    Hi Cali -- I bet you were shaking afterwards, huh? That was a close one -- too close.

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  57. I've never heard of these Parisian photo privacy laws. Its so strange to me when you think Paris is awash in tourists snapping pix all day long. I assume the laws just apply if you're going to publish one or post one on the net? I hope when I go in the fall I'll still be able to get the "people shots" I love to take because they capture the country so well.

    Last night I was looking at the photos from my visit to Paris 7 years ago (I didn't know it was illegal to take photos of cops) and one of my favorite shots is of a bunch of cops who I noticed because they had rollerblades! We definitely don't have anything like that in the States that I'm aware of. I always wished I'd ended up in front of them instead of noticing them as they rolled away from me, but, now I realize, I probably would never have gotten the shot if they'd been coming towards me.

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  58. Carrie: and yet at the Eiffel Tower people were posing for photos with the MP's there.

    Lois: I was definitely shaken and stirred!

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  59. David "Eric, I noticed that you blocked some of the faces using distorted pixels. May I ask why?" Yes, like USElaine said, the laws are pretty strict here. I don't want to get into trouble. You also said "I guess that I'm wondering why some are and some aren't." You mean some accept and some don't? Well some people don't like to be photographed, I suppose. Just this.

    Nice story Katie. How can someone play the double bass AND love the Tour de France?!!

    Tall Gary "Isn't that a saxophone in the lower right?" Yes, yes played together.

    Petrea "But it's terrible that you don't get a vacation!" I AGREE!

    Lily "ahhhhh! this photo makes me imagine a beautiful summer evening on a terrace having drinks with friends watching the world go by..." Yes, exactly!

    Michael. Actually she did not play anything famous - well that I knew. But I got your play on words!

    Lois "I remember a year or so back (a few of times) when Eric had to leave a site because the police were getting" True! The worst was this one... And the other one, at the demonstration, I think is this one.

    Parisian Heart "By the way, it is not unusual for me to meet Parisians visiting Nashville. Now I find myself asking them if they've heard about PDP and jotting down the URL for them if not." LOL! I'd like to see their face when you mention PDP! Actually Nashville is very famous in France because a lot of French singers went there at some stage in their career, like a pilgrimage.

    Lois. Gee, frightening story really...

    Carrie "I assume the laws just apply if you're going to publish one or post one on the net?" Yes!

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  60. Eric, I think David was perhaps wondering why some of the faces in this particular picture are pixellated, but others are not. I had assumed the ones you left alone really didn't reveal much identity.

    UK Lynn! How are you feeling these days!

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  61. Ce post m'a fait penser à l'expression 'marcher sur la tête'... ce qu'on ressent certains jours!!! ;)

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  62. Ah, your comment about the sax in the lower right answered my question about how anyone with only a bass would be busking. A duo or trio makes more sense. I would have thought this shot to be someone taking there instrument to one of the many luthiers on Rue de Rome for repairs if you hadn't mentioned it was in the 2nd. Carrying it that way in the crowd probably helps insure she doesn't need to get repairs ;^).
    -Kim
    Seattle Daily Photo

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