They didn’t like this in 1889. Their modestly profiled Paris, dominated by the holy Notre Dame, suddenly invaded by a steel monster on legs. The authorities promised it would only stand for 20 years, and 1909 would see its destruction.
Try suggesting it should be demolished now. It’s the symbol of the city, its most visited attraction. The Eiffel Tower is a triumph of technology
So why am I cursing technology? And why is this picture so fuzzy?
Second question first… I took this from my hotel room, and the image has suffered a major crop from the original iPhone image. I won’t name the hotel, save that’s it’s in the west of the city and very tall. And very nice, except…
They’re trying to be too clever. The lifts, for example. (Or elevators as our transatlantic friends would say) There are two banks of lifts. One is well-lit, and intended for guests. You have to press a button corresponding to your destination floor, and the display advises which lift to take. No security, like having to present your keycard, but no real problem. Note, there are no buttons inside the lift.
The problem is that the second bank is almost identical to the first, and after an excellent bottle of St Emilion the lack of bright lights is easily ignored. I selected my floor, only to be disgorged into an area of blackness.
For I have used a service lift.
I have to exit to search for buttons in the stygian gloom without success. Only a thin strip of light under what proves to be a door allows me to reach the world I know.
There is worse to come. Some crazed designer has decided it would be a wonderful idea to put a motion-detecting light under the bedside table so that any guests who’ve consumed half a bottle of St Emilion and a few coffees can find relief in the early hours. The idea is that once a foot is placed outside the bed this illumination will be activated.
I’m not sure which of my appendages dangled far enough to trigger the light, but at two o’clock on it came. And not being appraised of its existence, I began a search. If I moved away, it went off. When I returned to sleep, it came on.
I don’t need it. I don’t want it. And I don’t want lifts that haven’t got buttons inside. I love new technology, but only if someone with half a brain has thought through the consequences of what might happen.