IMG_5032On a recent trip to Montpellier, the street art really wowed me. I’ve previously posted about the pretty garlands strung across the narrow medieval streets. They were still there, along with others that I found amusing.IMG_5016Coming out of the underground carpark, I headed down the Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle and, though I’ve been there before, only noticed for the first time the playground that looked as if it had been designed by Dr. Seuss. I couldn’t find who designed it, but I did learn that it was installed in 2008 and the structures, including delightfully unsafe climbing (see French attitudes about safety here), are supposed to be related to music.IMG_5012IMG_5011IMG_5013The city encourages the street art. I love it. Little surprises, like small gifts or serendipitous wonders, that prompt a smile. I think they enhance, rather than detract, from the old buildings of the historic center. IMG_5070

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Do you see the little blue monster?

 

IMG_5069IMG_5084The art isn’t just painting. There are tiles all over, too. FYI, a hot-air balloon is called une montgolfière in French, after the Montgolfier brothers who invented them.IMG_5071IMG_5068There’s plenty of old art, too.IMG_5017IMG_5065Still looking down, there were designs painted on the sidewalks or streets related to whatever business was there. I walked past several before finally taking photos of these bars, across the street from each other.IMG_5072

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Not the same place as above, though they all have the same Tolix-style stools. Blame millennials.

Something about street art warms my heart and makes me feel surrounded by gentle souls. It’s whimsical, not aggressive. I suppose too much could become twee. But in the midst of these buildings and streets so heavy with history, a little whimsy is a welcome jolt of modernity, livening up the old without tearing it down. It’s democratic, free for all, no ticket required.IMG_5031Is street art a thing where you live?

Quite unrelated: I made my blette (Swiss chard) recipe even easier. For a long time, I made the recipe I’d found in a magazine: little packets, which are very pretty for guests. Then I tweaked the recipe, adding a can of white beans, for protein, to make the packets into a vegetarian meal. Then, to get rid of the tedious process of folding up the packets, I did the same recipe but as a kind of blette lasagne, layering the leaves with the stuffing. Finally, I just chopped up the chard and mixed it with the stuffing. The result is below. A horror for the Carnivore, who likes each ingredient to be separate and whose lowest critique of a dish is “mish-mash.” But I love one-dish meals, and now this one is even easier. Same recipe–just cut up the greens and sauté them with the stems and onions until they’re soft.blettes

 

21 thoughts on “I <3 Street Art

  1. Love it – all of it…. the street art,, the whimsy, the unusual, the little-crazy – great pics you’ve taken. Yes, we NEED some fun, some easy-going, with all the heavy stuff around, trying to bear us down.
    And tell your carnivore he can have his stuff separated, he just has to do it all himself. I’m, apart from certain meals (like the ratatouille, which I can’t stand to see all mish-mashed up), all for ‘more simple, less demanding, still totally good and even good-looking. The beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. And when the Little Prince said it, it’s good enough for us, the kitchen queens, isn’t it?!

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  2. Some great street art here. I love the leopard 🙂 Yes, lots of art in our closest big town Angouleme. There is some amazing artwork around and the town is known as the town of comic strips and images. Have a good weekend, Diane

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    1. A friend of mine, who is a full-time cartoonist (!!!), goes to the comics festival in Angouleme. Glad to hear that the art isn’t just for festival time but all the time.

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  3. I love the street art. We do not have much in my town but I have seen many murals and art in Philadelphia, Austin, Phoenix and several other places I have been recently.

    I love your bean dish, it looks delicious. Who cares what anyone else says about it.

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  4. Love the street art, we saw some fabulous pieces in Bordeaux. I love that it is creative and whimsical without being ‘in your face’. Your bean dish looks great and I will give it a try.

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  5. THAT LOOKS DELICIOUS!
    DID I MISS THE RECIPE HERE?I’ll GO BACK………..
    LOVE Swiss chard!I think I made your PACKETS WAY BACK!!!!
    NO STREET ART HERE!
    YOURS IS SWEET………….XX

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  6. Street art is found in pockets around here but is always subject to the vandalism/enhancement by graffitists. We’ve got some sculptures nearby on the waterfront that I’ve been meaning to blog about (it’s one of many languishing drafts) but all in all we’ve nothing so enchanting as Montpellier provides.

    I took a trip down your playground aside and had a hearty laugh. The nanny state is alive and well in this neck of the woods and is infuriating. Personal responsibility and common sense are assumed to be left at home when citizens step outside their front door. It starts so early now. Even the “soft-fall” playground around the corner is always as well populated with adults as children, all directing play like the kids can’t figure out what to do themselves. Either that or mindlessly pushing a limp child on a swing while they’re engrossed in their phones … but I digress…

    Your dinner looks delicious. I love a one pot meal, served in a bowl! I’ve reached that age where assembling a variety of tidy foodstuffs on a plate seems like too much effort, haha!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I must add that tonight I made your blette bowl! It is utterly delicious. I went a bit overboard with the dried oregano and added some celery to the sauté and a couple of anchovies for no good reason. I figured the egg was unnecessary in this instance but I might toss one through next time, just for extra vits and mins. It’s a keeper, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it, and your customization sounds yummy. I think the egg is mostly to firm up the liquids, especially in the dish’s origins as blette leaves stuffed with the stalks, onion, cream and parmesan–that needed the egg to help it set.

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