Friday 19 May: Post check in and late lunch and the weather seems to be holding out – just little spats of rain instead of the showers predicted. With 4 days here and a good chance to get some good work done on the project, la petite ceinture and la coulée verte were number one on the transformation agenda. Although I am looking at transformation through abandonement, la coulée verte (the original high line) turns this full circle through the regeneration of parts of the old railway line (la petite ceinture).
First stop was the la coulée verte, which was surprisingly easy to find – thanks the RATP app which gives the correct metro exit info – invaluable in Paris. I have to say I was really impressed with how this has been transformed. Of course I never saw the original line, but the promenade was a pleasure to walk through… so much greenery. And I had to capture the woman and her son in the yellow rain macs!
I then headed off to see other parts of la petite ceinture. My first stop was again a renovated piece of track that was made into a community park. It did however have a blocked off section that had a graffiti mural at the end. I had to take the shots through the gated fence.
I then googled another part of track and ended up taking a tram to Villa du Bel Air and a very unassuming entrance onto the disused track. When I arrived some local teenagers were mooching around and only gave me a passing glance once they realised I was not interested in taking pictures of them. So I began my meandering walk to see where this would take me. One immediate health and safety issue was walking on the large gravel stones on the railway. On more than one occasion I landed badly and twisted my ankle – so I began wondering how I would get myself out if I eventually I myself… the things you think of. Anyway I continued and happened across a makeshift encampment for some homeless people. As much as I wanted to take a picture of it, I fought the urge and accorded them the privacy they are entitled to. Apart from an incident with a large barking dog who was thankfully on the other side of the fence with his recalcitrant owner I thought all I would get was endless track. Eventually after about approximately 20-30 mins walking I came across on of the picturesque spots I had seen when researching the line – the heavily graffitied station platform.
Arriving here was worth the walk. But one of my favourite shots was the writing on the line – “the Internet is broken so I’m outside today”
Assignment critiera: 1, 2, 4 & 5