La Maison

I do not know when this shop came to exist. To my eyes, it has been always there. Never seen it open, but my parents did. It is abandoned but I recall the façade was renovated, perhaps before 2011. La Maison in French means the house. It is/was a furniture store. The artificial architectural style of the façade stands indifferent to the architectural style of the host building itself. This is an alteration to the original style of the building. I guess the owner in the past time did what he thought would serve better his business. Perhaps this was before the rise of the notion of heritage protection or conservation. Interestingly, the façade is considered of architectural value according to the recognition it got from the information plate beside the entrance, which mentions its architectural style. Meanwhile, we can find another information plate that mentions the architectural style of the original building. On an intangible level, we can observe the impact of this situation. It is a normal scene nowadays to see teenagers celebrating their birthdays at this spot. Girls more than boys are being photographed holding 2 flying balloons in the shape of numbers, together they form the number of their current age. Always La Maison is the background (even if the name does not exist). Reading the balloons has become my fascination (also my wife’s). The younger age number I have seen is 16 years old, and the oldest but rare was 30. The alteration that happened in the near past is considered now a heritage and in return is shaping habits and way of life. Isn’t it happening now? Sometimes the change is good and we adapt to it, and other sometimes the change is irrelevant, but,… we also get adapted.

About Alexandria’s Third Places