November 4, 2009

San Clemente and a French girl vision of American parking lots

Seeking the truth on public benches...

Mexican and North African countries architecture are my favorite. 





For Americans people, parking lots are just parking lots, but for the French person that I am,  it is yet another moment where I say to myself: "How can the United States be so different than Europe?". Yes, for me parking lots are also exotic. Why? Because they all look alike, really alike. It's like they were all designed and built by the same person. They are all huge and surrounded by the same shops, which are generally put in some same generic order, probably studied so that after you go shop for shampoo or food, you are thirsty and hungry and you want to grab something to eat and/or drink before leaving. Same marketing equations, same colors, same "architecture", same everything.

Also, you can usually spot the same kind of people there: you will have the families of course. In general it's going to be a mum with her one or two kids or teenagers, she'll either look very elegant, or will be wearing sweat pants and sneakers (sadly, it's not a cliché in my experience). You will find young bored teenagers who don't really know what else to do than go to a mall; the people who are not from there and are desperately trying to find some frozen yogurt (I admit it, that was me); the girls in their mid 20s and 30s who are saying "like" and "omg" every two seconds, while catching up on their love life and walking really fast towards a Starbucks where they will eat their emotions along with their lattes. If you look closely enough, you will also see the old lonely widows, or recently divorced people in their 50s and 60s, sitting somewhere trying to have a peaceful meal wondering why does everything feel so different. I could go on and on and on...

I love parking lots in the United States, they are a perfect small version of the world. And the best  thing about them is that you can usually tell who's going to come out of a car just by the brand/type of car they are driving. This is not something I can do here because France is well known to have a lot of tiny cars and the mother of two probably won't be driving a SUV.
In other words, being bored on a parking lot is still a photographic and life experience for a French girl; even when you are sitting in a car, with a storm coming up, waiting for someone to do their errands.


November 3, 2009

San Clemente or how much I miss the sun

Autumn is definitely here and as I think that like a lot of French people I'm having sun withdrawal. So I went through photos of this summer in San Clemente, California, and couldn't help posting some. More tomorrow.