Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chairs

An Object of Desire

Nature is by and large to be found out of doors, a location where, 
it cannot be argued, there are never enough comfortable chairs. 
Fran Lebowitz 


Winter never does settle in in Nantes. Not really. A midnight flurry, maybe, quite possibly, hidden from prying eyes. Wake to white in the morning and by noon it is gone. The days have been quite temperate, an early spring, and as cabin fever sets in we leave the safety and four walls of home and take to the streets.



Settle in, chair faced out, legs stretched, jutting awkwardly forward, and let the street theater begin. That old French tradition of long lazy moments at a sidewalk café beckons as the sun splatters across the pavement, warming our upturned faces. People scurry through town, in front of us, oblivious. People stroll hand in hand, nonchalantly, swallowed up in their own thoughts.


Each day I discover something new of my town. Look up and see art; scribbles on the walls, crazy mosaics glued to the sides of buildings, a game of hide-and-seek. Or the buildings themselves, architecture gone wild, architects let loose. Vibrant colors and odd shapes crisscross in our paths, sculptures in our line of vision, yelling for attention.


It isn't so much what's on the table that matters, as what's on the chairs. 
William S. Gilbert 


And then there are all of these chairs. Who thinks of a chair? Inanimate objects, purely functional. Where to place our seat when desiring….a seat? Colors, shapes, living sculptures. Who notices the benches, the stools, the seats and chairs in rattan, wicker, plastic, metal? Slats, woven, wooden, sturdy, rickety? There they sit, pretty as a picture, blocking my path, inviting me, anyone to stop, sit, relax. And do we really need a reason – a coffee clutched, a book opened, a croque-monsieur lying placidly on a plate – to pull up a chair?


A place for quiet reflection, a good book, a crisp newspaper, a shared meal or a lively discussion. Sit facing each other, eyes locked, leaning in across the table, the world shut out, forgotten. Sit side by side, shoulder to shoulder, watching anyone but your companion, watching the world go by, an unobserved observer.


Common sense says that chairs and tables exist independently of 
whether anyone happens to perceive them or not. 
Charles D. Broad 


I am enthralled. I begin to snap all that I see and there are still more waiting patiently to be discovered.


Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself 
 – Zen proverb

 

20 comments:

ilva said...

oh Jamie I LOVE this post, all the chairs so different but yet alike. although I don't agree with Gilbert, it does matter a lot what is on the table, if the company isn't good, the food is fundamental!

Jeanne said...

What fun! The Chairs of Nantes (like the Umbrellas of Cherbourg ;o)) I want a Big Boss Chair for my house - for my personal use, naturally!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love this poetic post and series of pictures! Chairs con be so captivating...

Cheers,

Rosa

LoveFeast Table said...

Thank you for taking me wistfully on a journey through the lens of your camera. ~Kristin

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said...

Oh my gosh! I love the texture on the chairs. So vintage!

So glad you guys are settling down :)

Mairi @Toast said...

Love it :) Feel like I have been on a little tour, love the photos. Nothing like a little bit of quiet observation to take in our surrounding...this is a reminder to do it more often.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I do have a bit of a chair thing! If I had room I'd probably collect them :D I think hubby is probably glad that we don't have room :P

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen said...

So true Jamie, this post is a welcome change from food! I had forgotten about sitting side by side when eating out, something you see so much in europe, but not here. Have a great weekend!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

What a lovely way to look at your city. It says so much about where and how people congregate, and what an important part of a community those congregating spaces can be.

Ivy said...

Beautiful photos and what an interesting subject. I love photographing doors and balconies :)

Kate@Diethood said...

Ah, you just reminded me of my hometown, Bitola. Street theatre, or as we in Bitola call it, the Catwalk. :) Thank you for taking us on a walk with you!!

Elizabeth said...

This is great, Jamie! I particularly like your question "And do we really need a reason to pull up a chair?".

Chocolate Shavings said...

Rustic bistrot chairs are always so charming - would love to have a few in my dining room one day!

Dewi said...

Loving the lime green color of that chair.

Carolyn Jung said...

A great restaurant chair is not always easy to find. It needs to be supportive as your tushie and back don't want to suffer. It has to look stylish. And it has to hold up from all those customers who use it day in and day out. When you find a great one, you just want to sit there forever, nursing a cocktail or coffee.

Gourmantine said...

Beautiful post and photos, and a tour through your town. I have to say looking at photos it looks like Spring is very much kicking in.

Lisa said...

Can I eat these chairs? Just teasing. Look at your new found eye...you're seeing these chairs from a totally different perspective through your camera lens. As pretty and vintage as some of them are..I love the angles you snapped them at. Awesome, symbolic, post! Now, can you get me a chair? ;)

Rambling Tart said...

I love this so much, Jamie. Chairs are so peaceful, always welcoming. Lovely, lovely shots. :-)

Junglefrog said...

What a fun and pretty post Jamie! Loving all those chairs and those pics are brilliant!

Jill Colonna @ MadAboutMacarons said...

Love this fun post, Jamie. Yes, I do think seriously about chairs, especially with a bad back. Many of these are fleeting moment sit-downs and others? I'm not sure I could get back up again! Big boss chair... hehe.

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