Tobacco shed in France?

While walking around the northeastern Lorraine city of Metz I stumbled across a street called Rue de la Manufacture, with a small sign that tobacco was produced here many years ago. Although there were no signs, I wondered if this building was used as a shed for storing the leaves? It was very similar to sheds that I’ve seen in the southern US, where the leaves are hung and allowed to ferment or dry out of whatever it is they want to happen to the leaves:

It sounded like an interesting historical topic (producing tobacco in France!), so I did a little research on Wikipedia and found out this might be the case. You can see the Rue de la Manufacture below, and just to the right and up you’ll see Imp. Belle-Isle, where the northeastern most building (with the grey roof) is the arial view of the snap I took:


I think it’s just wonderful how you can dovetail a photography hobby with an easy bit of historical research, to find out things like this!

 

The Covid Deviation

There are mask signs sprayed all over the streets in the northeaster Lorraine city of Metz, but it struck me as interesting how this one was juxtaposed with a deviation sign. It made me think, I hope these times are just is “Covid deviation.”

Google googled me!

The cool thing about the business social networking site LinkedIn is that you can see who has tried to look you up – well, at least you can see their company name. I recently stopped at a nuclear reactor in France – one day later someone from the Gendarmerie Nationale looked me up – coincidence?

(And by the way, if they did, think of the technology involved: scanning my vehicle, optical character recognition of the license plate, database lookup to find the owner, running the owner through searches like this – I hope they are using RPA, since it seems a very good candidate for robotic process automation. And if they are not – S’il vous plaît appelez-moi, et je suis heureux de prendre rendez-vous pour un conseil en technologie! )

Anyway, after “googling” many people myself I felt quite honoured and privileged to be the subject of their scrutiny,

Believe it or not – it’s been a bit over a decade – but if memory serves me right I once spoke with the present head of Google (Sundar Pichai) on the phone, naturally back before he was so famous. I wrote down his name in my notebook – but sadly I can’t find the notebook anymore to confirm.

When memories trigger the senses

My Aunt recently posted a very old advertisement of an American variety store called Woolworth’s. Apparently, she thought they were all out of business – and in America, they are. But not in Germany, as this snap shows:

The key point here is a different one. The advertisement for Woolworth’s – as indeed this real store – immediately triggers a flood of memories involving sights and smells. And not just for me: when I shared this photo with my family, they also mentioned this effect.

There is something about the old “Woolworths” that is hard to put into words. You would walk into one of these stores and be hit by the smells of their inside cafeteria — “back in the day” it was common for any large store to have a cafeteria – but also the sights and sounds.

The mind-blowing painted houses of Stein am Rhein – 2

Continuing the series,

If you are not from Switzerland, you MUST exercise extreme caution before visiting this village.

Otherwise, there is a real possibility that your brain will explode!

Stein am Rhein is a little medieval village in north central Switzerland, and it’s famous for its medival houses that are elaborately painted, as these snaps show.

Here is one of many houses:

And here is a close-up of the bits that are elaborately painted:

 

The mind-blowing painted houses of Stein am Rhein – 3

Continuing the series,

If you are not from Switzerland, you MUST exercise extreme caution before visiting this village.

Otherwise, there is a real possibility that your brain will explode!

Stein am Rhein is a little medieval village in north central Switzerland, and it’s famous for its medival houses that are elaborately painted, as these snaps show.

Here is one of many houses:

And here is a close-up of the bits that are elaborately painted:

 

The mind-blowing dormer cranes of Le Landeron – 2

Continuing the series, Le Landeron is a medieval village in central western Swiss canton of Neuchatel that is one of a very tiny minority of Swiss villages in which most of the houses have been equipped with medieval dormer cranes, used for lifting things to the highest level:

For a long time I wondered about this, until I spoke with a historian in the German village of Villingen-Schweningen. He told me that people are lazy, if they can they prefer to keep their grain in their basement, and only in cases where the water table was very high were the higher floors of buildings used for grain storage. Et viola, dormer cranes.

The mind-blowing painted houses of Stein am Rhein

If you are not from Switzerland, you MUST exercise extreme caution before visiting this village.

Otherwise, there is a real possibility that your brain will explode!

Stein am Rhein is a little medieval village in north central Switzerland, and it’s famous for its medival houses that are elaborately painted, as these snaps show.

Here is one of many houses:

And here is a close-up of the bits that are elaborately painted:

Stein am Rhein – autostretched

Stein am Rhein is a very unusual medieval Swiss village, in which a majority of the historical buildings have painted facades. I’ll show more snaps in upcoming blogs, but first a view of Stein am Rhein from high on a hilltop, looking south:

In this region there is no way to describe the border between Switzerland and Germany except to say highly irregular. Sometimes Germany is north of the Rhein, sometimes it’s south, same with Switzerland. The border takes zillions of twists and turns.