Today was Manual for Speed’s first Tour de France Sunflower Patch. I know you won’t believe us, and why should you?, but photographing the race proximal to a Sunflower Patch was non-consensual. It happened like this:
- We crested a hill and BOOM, there it was, the earth had a golden floor as far as the eye could see, provided the eye focused only on the right side of the street.
- There were photographers everywhere. On their cars for vantage, hanging from street signs, shooting across the road into the field, shooting across the field into the road, in the field with sunflowers in the foreground, up high, down low, in fox holes, rappelling from hot air balloons, squirrel-suiting, etc.
- We pulled onto a road to park (leave-the-car-running-style) to photograph the golden bukkake.
- We did that, we discussed staying, we decided not to stay, we decided to leave immediately, we turned around and drove to the edge of the road, then, right before we could pull out, we got blocked in.
- First by just one guy. A Japanese photographer who we don’t know well.
- Emiliano publicly argued with him and eventually convinced him to move his car to let us out.
- Then right before he could, he himself got blocked-in by Kristof Ramon.
- Emiliano argued with Kristof Ramon.
- I had to explain to Emiliano that we were friends with Kristof Ramon.
- By this time the whole Patch was actively watching our Flash Performance Art.
- We agreed to stay and not push the Sunflower Blockade issue any further.
- Moments later Kristof Ramon decided to leave anyway but it was too late for us at that point.
- While waiting for the race to pass we discussed the Pros and Cons of this particular Sunflower Patch. The consensus is that it’s about a 7.3 as far as Sunflower Patches go. The only major drawback are the telephone poles.
- Jim Fryer points out that when the Sunflower Patch is lower than the road (as it was in this case) using “perspective” you can make it look like the riders are racing (or “surfing) across the tops of the Sunflowers.
- We also discuss the origin of the Sunflower Patch “shot.” The consensus is that Graham Watson was the first to popularize and subsequently memorialize the Sunflower Shot.
The post race exodus phenomenon. The race passes, you and all the other media run to your cars, you and all the other media Sticker Privilege your way through the barriers and traffic, you and all the other media race off in every direction possible, sometimes you follow another media, sometimes you get followed by another media, you always second guess your choice, you always wonder who’s going where, you always think about what they know versus what you don’t know, it feels a lot like that one car chase scene in the Pink Panther.
Speeding down vacant farm roads!
Talking to a Dutch photographer in Villefranche-d’Albigeois about America. He’s concerned that America is unsafe. He says in American suburbs there are drug dealers everywhere. On the corners offering drugs to children. He saw a show on TV about it. He likes France because the villages aren’t too perfect. They have a little bit of trash and old buildings. He says the Netherlands are too nice, too manicured. He wants to visit New Orleans.
The bridge over the Le Tarn River between the towns of Arthés and Saint-Juéry. This bridge over that river almost mitigated the pain and suffering of documenting the entire 2015 Tour De France.
Sitting at a table on the lawn in front of the priory, the valley lit up, listening to omnipresent, seemingly atmospheric opera music, surrounded by tall trees and the gurgle of a brook, drinking café creme after café creme after Perrier after café creme after Perrier for hours, computing in the breeze.
Yesterday, the Poulet Jalfrezi just made me sweat. A lot. Today though…
A marching band in the non-Girona part of Rodez covering Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.
A different marching band covering Stevie Wonder.
Yet another marching band covering The Toadies.
All three marching bands being within one hundred yards of each other.
They weren’t even the first marching band(s) of the day, the first was at the finish. But that marching band was okay, that marching band doesn’t deserve to be in the low points. Now I owe that marching band an apology because of these other three marching bands.
Medieval priories are not equipped with A/C. #tedious
Three things about this text really stand-out as remarkable:
- I have Phil Liggett’s phone number.
- I’m texting Phil Liggett.
- I’m on assignment (kinda) for The New Yorker.
- Do you text/type on your mobile with one thumb or two thumbs? Is it possible that texting/typing with one thumb is as fast or faster then texting/typing with one thumb. Is texting/typing with one thumb wrong. How do you think Manual For Speed should text/type?
- Sunflowers, what are they all about?
- In France they have Ambulance-Taxis. So like, which is it?
A BRIEF TIMELINE OF PRIEURE DE LAS CANALS11Reproduced here verbatim and unedited.
- Las Canals ( Canals in Occitan) is a domain of the xv th century located Nuces, hamlet Valady in the Aveyron, 14 km northwest of Rodez. The property was the private residence of several famous families.
- Rainwater seeped through the limestone soils of the limestone plateau overlooking the valley and contribute to the supply of the stream that flows at its feet, hence the name Las Canals.
- The priory was extended in 1720 when the bishopric of Rodez buys the Boissiere family in order to install his monks.
- After the French Revolution, the monks leave. Bonald’s family took over the property. The Comte de Bonald performs very important work, and landscape among others, terraced vineyard of four hectares.
- Family Bonald including in its ranks the philosopher Louis de Bonald, Archbishop of Lyon Louis-Jacques-Maurice de Bonald and politician Victor de Bonald .
- The set was bought by families and Ginisty Portal.
- André Ginisty, president of the Regional Planning Committee to Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Toulouse, became the owner during the interwar period.
- In 1997 , George and Odette de La Rochebrochard buys it and turns it into a bed and breakfast.