I took the gopro out for its first spin the other day as a test run for a bike ride I’m planning and it was kind of a failure. The ride I chose (Lorient > Larmor Plage) was very unsuitable for a road bike so I turned around prematurely, I can’t get my bike computer to work, and the camera kept falling down to film the ground. But I got a couple of nice shots of the ride regardless! It really is a lovely ride, but more for a mountainbike or running.
"Lorient is ugly, I’m sorry you weren’t placed in a prettier place"
People really like to hate on Lorient here - and the north of France in general. Everyone is always telling me how ugly the north/Lorient is, and I always respond with a “no! I like it it’s very cute!” … to which I get a look that says, “really. crazy American. you don’t have to be nice.” It’s because most of the north was bombed heavily during WWII and was rebuilt rather quickly with a lot of more modern, block-like houses, and none of the old buildings really remain anymore. The French are notorious in their love for “French” things, i.e. castles, old buildings, houses with the visible wood framing, and tiled roofs, so it makes sense that they would not be as proud of the north. I went to Vannes yesterday, the capital of the Morbihan region, which actually still has a lot of it’s old buildings, and all of the teachers at my school were saying how much more I would like it. It was very beautiful! But I still like Lorient a lot. I have a soft spot for port towns.
The art: Berthe Morisot, The Harbor at Lorient, 1869.
The news: “Why Summer Vacations (and the Internet) Make You More Productive,” by Derek Thompson on TheAtlantic.com.
The source: Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Note: Why is it the French have made so much great art about vacation spots? No one did it better than the French impressionists — Boudin, Monet, etc. — who eagerly chronicled the emergent French middle class’ beach holidays. My take: The impressionists (and later the fauves and others) were updating the classic painterly subject of Arcadia by including the new bourgeoisie.
This is where I’m moving soon!