August 09, 2007


The houses in the area I live, “les Batignolles” Paris 17th arrondissement, were to large extent built during the latter part of the 19th century. Few houses are older or younger.

I have in earlier posts talked about some famous painters, poets, composers who used to live here, but most of the original inhabitants belonged probably to those days’ ordinary middle-class.

Built more or less during the same period, the buildings are often very similar in style, but there are some minor decoration differences, including the doors and the doorways. I have already made a post on “doors” and here is one on “doorways”, or rather what you can find just on top of the actual doorways; a bit more of fantasy than today.

I found the “hands” that you can see on the top picture slightly outside my area (but still close) and this is what gave me the idea to more closely look for other decorations.

This is not a collection of the nicest ones in Paris; it’s just pictured as I walked along the streets close to where I live (and my house is included.) I would certainly find something much more decorative if I went to the most fashionable areas.

That flats were equipped with gas and electricity was something new and sometimes you can see small plates indicating that those commodities are available, like some of the older cafés advise that they have the telephone.


Annie said...

You would laugh, I fear, if I presented the same kind of collection of doorways here in Little Rock. In fact, now that you've given me this idea, I might just do it. But it will be a woeful grouping, I imagine.

Emily Lin said...

Wow.. a huge collection of doorways!! I like 7 so I'll prefer the doorways with a number "7" on it. :P

I wonder which doorway is yours. It's interesting to guess but I am really bad in guessing. So let me just forget it. =)

Azer Mantessa said...

the hands seem friendly and welcoming. very nice and artistic.


lyliane said...

Il y avait quand même de bons artistes dans le temps! et c'est une superbe idée de nous montrer ces belles choses,car nous nous promenons dans Paris, sans faire attention à tout cela. Mais n'a tu pas mal au cou, d'avoir eu a travailler la tête en l'air?

marja- maya l'abeille said...

Ca c'est vraiment tout ce que j'aime ! C'est beau !

hpy said...

I would prefer bigger photos in order to see the details better. There are so many beautiful old houses in Paris.

Peter said...

I may laugh, but in a very friendly way; just go ahead!

emily lin:
I will make a specific 7 tour for you one fo these days!

I was also struck by these friendly hands. Quite different as an idea!

Le problème hier était plus la pluie que le cou!

Merci pour cette première visite!

I may look for some really nice ones for some big photos. Here there are some 50 or 60, so it would be a bit "too much" (again)! (I should also buy a better camera.)

K M F said...

wow nice pictures

Peter said...

k m f:
Welcome to my blog!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Hi Peter: sorry to have given you such a sleepless night in anticipation of the prizegiving.... but stick around for my next 100 BlogPosts and you'll have another chance! :-)
The Paris doorways are super, I love the dainty hands holding the number, so elegant.
Doorways are not so striking here either, however perhaps I will follow Annie's lead, and see what inetersting doors exist in this small town.

Chuckeroon said...

Another stunner, Peter...It also amazes me that the fan lights over the 18th century doors of England are NEVER repeated. Search the whole town and they are all guaranteed different: Just as these in Paris are all guaranteed different, I'm sure.

Kate said...

Good Day, Peter. Great idea. Like Annie, I'm afraid a similar idea here would fall flat! Re. your comment on Abraham's post today about your desire to rent a barge. If I lived there, my husband and I would join you in a minute!! For a real treat, read this book, _The Secret Life of the Seine_ by Mort Rosenblum. A description of it follows: Mort Rosenblum, world-weary foreign correspondent, takes us aboard his 54-foot launch made of Burmese teak and brass, tied up alongside the barges in the center of Paris...The Secret Life is about pleasure, a love story between man and boat and the river they live on, a discourse on the sensual beauty of France and living well.

So much fun to read, Peter!!

Anonymous said...

If we ever had anything that looked like any of these around here they would have been in a larger city like our neighboring dayton, ohio. Now, however, older buildings went by way of the wrecking ball and are probably at the bottom of some landfill. There never was any real effort to save any of these kinds of things. They just demolish them.

I like your post today and yesterday's was a favorite of mine.

The dumbest thing you will still find around here near front doors is a cement goose wearing clothes. Can you just imagine that? Disgusting. Whatever possesses people to dress a concrete goose and park it by the front door is way beyond me. My imagination doesn't extend to those extremes.

Did I say, I like your post?

You are finding things at your front door to post that sparks my interest and the interest of others. Good post Peter.

Peter said...

I just realised that I'm already close to 200. Maybe I also have to think about a prize...?
Welcome to join the doorway club!

I'm sure you could do something very nice with English doors and doorways!

Well, a house boat toor toghether would have been nice! In the meantime, I will have a look for the book and maybe also find his launch!

Peter said...

I'm happy if your are happy!
I think it took some time - and too many regrettable things were made, but I believe that for Paris now, they will pay a lot of attention before demolishing; there is a clear wish to keep the atmosphere. You see also some buildings which are completely renewed inside, but the outer shape is conserved.

On the other hand, Paris cannot be a "museum" only. Certain new creations are certainly necessary, but I believe that nothing so really destructive will be done anymore! We will see what people will say in a few decades about today's "creativity"!

... and yes, I try to see my neighbourhood with blogger eyes now. That changes my view on things!

Ming_the_Merciless said...

Your collages never fail to impress me. I love that you captured the little details of the numbers on the archway. Brilliantly done.

SusuPetal said...

To raise one's gaze towards the roofs of houses, can reveal a totally new side of a building, all those fasades and reliefs in old buildings! And these door ways. Just lovely.

pink ginger 珂琳 said...

very impressive collection, Peter. Nice to be back to your blog world.

It has been a while, hope you're doing well.

All the Best.

pink ginger 珂琳 said...

visit Azer's music blog, he dedicate a song for you, called - Peter Olson of Paris, France. :)

Peter said...

Archway, thanks, that was the word I was looking for.

Yes, you are right, but these archways are of course not that high. You know Paris is also known for not always so well behaving dogs (or rather their owners), so you better also look down. (Streets are cleaned every day, but anyhow...)

pink ginger:
Happy to have you back!
Yes I know, thanks, Azer's picture is now on my front page, to the right, and I have given the address for those who wish to listen to the music - and then they would also find what Azer did for you, for Krystyna...

krystyna said...

Hi Peter!
Spectacular! You are happy walking through such beautiful, antique place. Paris is so beautiful with that old and new architecture.
Thanks a lot!

April said...

That's astonishing, that there are so many of those decorative elements. Next time in Paris I will try to have an eye on these details.

lyliane said...

Je ne pensais pas que tu avais eu le courage de sortir par un temps pareil! et que ces photos avaient été prises un autre jour.Bravo, moi j'ai préféré aller au ciné.

Shionge said...

Hey I love that pair of 'hands' :D

richard said...

Wow - how long did it take you to do that! Whatever thanks for doing it. You may have read on one of my other posts that I like the details of street furniture and architecture - especially when they give the streets of a city character like this

Patrick said...

Tell me if I am wrong, but the "82" is from rue Blanche?

Neva said...

This is really a beautifully done post, Peter. Once again, you're the best! Lots of good ideas....where do you come up with them? Hope you are back soon, I am trying to catch up on the blogs I missed during vacation.

black feline said...

my friend u are not going to believe it...82 is the unit number of my apartment in Dubai..

Peter said...

black feline:
Now I have seen a picture of the house where you live, I know the appartment number... One day I may knock on the door!