Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vacation Planning

The flea market - this was in a place called Vanves, I believe - was not exactly bustling since it had just started to rain when we got there. However, we did see a few typewriters including this classic Underwood 5...

... which showed up again on another seller's table, accompanied by a stenographer's typewriter (anyone know how to use one of these? It all seems terribly complex to me.).

A Remington Noiseless that I rather liked.

Speaking of retro tech, a whole horde of these Velib bicycles have invaded Paris over the past few years, but I still haven't worked up the nerve to try one yet. I wouldn't mind the quieter streets, but navigating the grand boulevards with the same level of insouciance French cyclists seem to muster up despite having to fight for space with buses, taxis, cars, trucks, scooters... it's a tall order.


  1. I can foresee the work someone will have to put in, maybe in around 20 years time, when they have to refurbish that poor noiseless which was left out in the rain that day. But it will be worth it :-)

  2. That Remington Noiseless... THAT isn't too common cause it has the late late style keys and paint!

    Well, I think it is more common in Europe actually. But those were pretty Underwoods! I just don't have the space for one if I saw it though.

  3. ohhh, like a Noiseless in the rain...

    sounds like a retro americana song about prairies and love letters.

  4. Paris is magical (I want to go back and explore more, it's been years!), but it can't hold a candle to Geneva or Zurich as far as flea market typewriters are concerned. Am I right?

  5. @Rob: You're probably right, that poor thing. Still, it looked to be in fine condition before the rain started up, and I hope the seller had the good sense to cover it after I snapped this shot.

    @ThD: Imagine lugging an Underwood through the Paris metro system (which involves climbing and descending several flights of steps), back to the holiday rental, back through the metro, then on the train to Geneva... Never.

    @Lo-tech: We only saw this one flea market (and briefly at that) but I think you may be right. I shall confirm in October. Anyway, even Zurich doesn't hold a candle to Geneva as far as flea market typewriters are concerned; David is always envying my finds. So, if you are ever Swiss-bound, visit me instead :-)

  6. I've only been to Paris one time and the traffic was a little scary for biking, so I'm with you on that one.

    I can't speak for the Paris bike rentals but CityBike in Vienna was great! I used it several times and it was very simple and convenient. The rental points are close enough together I don't think I ever got charged for time.

  7. @Adwoa, thanks, I will take up your offer when I do get a chance to visit Geneva!


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