Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Mercerie

Rue ThiersWhen you hear Revolution... Students' Thursdays Avignon University... Splendida Fiesta Saturday 11 February 2012. Hotchpotch of posters on an old haberdashery store awaiting a new life.
Talking to a young (30 something) bus driver the other day, she said she could remember Rue Thiers as one of the most vibrant and posh streets in town. Today it looks pretty rundown, counting not much more than two bars, a hairdresser, a grocery shop, a driving school, a tatoo parlor and a couple of kebab take-aways. The last upmarket boutique, a jewelry shop, is closing down : the owners are about to retire.

Quand t'entends révolution... Jeudis étudiants Avignon University. Splendida Fiesta le samedi 11 février 2012. Bousculade d'affiches ordinaire à la façade d'une boutique qui a connu des jours meilleurs. L'autre jour une jeune conductrice de bus (la trentaine) me disait que dans son enfance la rue Thiers était encore une rue riche, vivante et commerçante. Aujourd'hui c'est une artère bien triste dont les derniers commerces sont une vieille droguerie, un coiffeur, un agent d'assurances, un salon de manucure, une épicerie, deux bars-tabac, une auto-école, un dojo, une boutique d'antiquités, un salon de tatouage et deux kebabs. La dernière des jolies boutiques, une bijouterie-joaillerie, est sur le point de fermer : les propriétaires prennent leur retraite.

17 comments:

Bob Crowe said...

I see this as a sentimental picture. It expresses longing for what the street once was (with a haberdashery, no less!). It reminds me of some of the formerly rundown areas of lower Manhattan before the developers made them chic and expensive again. There is also a longing for the students' idealistic vision of the future, as naive as we may think it to be. A la recherche du temps perdu et d'autres de ne jamais être trouvé.

La Mode Operandi said...

When one cultured street dies, another is born

Thérèse said...

Aucune idee si cette rue se situe au centre d;Avignon? Si oui elle suit le modele americain ou l'activite diminue dans les centres-villes pour se deplacer petit a petit vers l'exterieur jusqu'au jour ou: les compteurs se remettent a zero et tout redemarre du centre. Esperons-le pour la rue Thiers.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

You have to wonder how it comes about that a once busy, active street comes to this situation? Is it people moving out of the area, rents for shops going too high! There are so many streets just like this all over the world, it's a mystery. Beautifully shown Nathalie, you really get that 'feel' of dejection.

Olivier said...

c'est la vie des quartiers, il y en qui meurt, d'anciens qui revivent et de nouveaux qui sortent..Si ce se trouve dans 10 ans cette rue sera redevenu a la mode

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Changing times!

Nathalie said...

Oui Thérèse, Olivier, les temps changent et c'est un effet typique de la désaffection des centres ville au profit des grands centres commerciaux de la périphérie. On peut imaginer qu'un jour la vie reviendra ici, mais sous quelle forme? En tout cas ce temps n'est pas encore venu.

Nathalie said...

Gracie,
No parking is the main reason : large shopping malls just 3 to 5 kms out of town offer an amazing choice of shops and supermarkets with no parking problems. In the city centre, parking is at a premium. Our mayor has decided to beautify the city by closing down all the free parking areas around the ramparts and replacing them with grass and flower beds. Looks great but where can people park ? You either have to drive around town for ages to find a space (for which there are parking meters and which can be 4 to 5 blocks away from the shops you want to visit) or go to the (often crowded) parking des halles, which is expensive too. In the end, people just go where it's easy !

Adam said...

Hey - Invisible Avignon!
I'm fascinated by these city snapshots that capture a passing of time and of fashions. Perhaps this street is no longer fashionable, but it still has a life which is relevant to those who live in the neighbourhood. I guess there's not much demand for a 'mercerie' amongst - what seems to be - the student population in the area, but I guess they are large consumers of kebabs!

Anonymous said...

En effet Nathalie j'ai connu la rue thiers avec une activité importante, entre autres, il y avait un atelier "Soleiado"... les quelquefois que j'y passe, j'ai un grand brin de nostalgie!!! pour me ressourcer, ... et hop en rando.. Suzette!!!
nine

Chrissy Brand said...

It's hard to imagine its busy heyday from this great photo- looks an intersting area though.

Chrissy from Manchester: a photo a day at Mancunian Wave

jeandler said...

Une rue qui meurt, c'est la proie idéale des promoteurs...

Chri said...

Le coeur des villes devient un désert mort, les banlieues des villes des centres commerciauxinfréquentables... Où aller?

/t. said...

the eternal cycle of
growth, decline, renewal

your architectural photography is awesome, nathalie -- excellent!

wishing you a wonderful spring

× × ×

/t.

Nathalie said...

Nine tu as raison, c'est la bonne solution !

Nathalie said...

/t. - spring? I wish! Everything still speaks about winter here.

Julie said...

The new shopping malls, maul.

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