In a busy shopping centre, few people pause to study the details under their feet.
‘Je ne l’aurais pas vu sauf que vous le photographiez’ (or something like that – the meaning was clear even if my French grammar isn’t). ‘I wouldn’t have noticed that if you’d not been photographing it’. Once he’d noticed it, the man who made this comment stopped to consider the inlaid map in detail, admiring the design but noting that some features had been squeezed into the wrong locations.
It may not be geographically accurate but this map is full of appealingly quirky details. There are people pushing prams and walking dogs, café customers and picnickers, cyclists, and musicians, an artist and several people reading books – a common activity in the parks and public transport of Paris.
One of the readers is happily settled under a tree on the Promenade Plantée, one by the pond in the Jardin du Luxembourg and another (appropriately) by the National Library. The location of the shopping centre in Place d’Italie features prominently but it is not placed centre stage. That distinction goes (as it should) to the River Seine.