A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘montpellier

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • At anthro{dendum}, Amarilys Estrella writes about the aftermath of a car accident she experienced while doing fieldwork.
  • Architectuul notes at a tour of Berlin looking at highlights from an innovative year for architecture in West Berlin back in 1987.
  • Bad Astronomer notes that interstellar comet 2/Borisov is behaving surprisingly normally.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes briefly about the difficulty, and the importance, of being authentic.
  • Centauri Dreams shares some of the recent findings of Voyager 2 from the edge of interstellar space.
  • Crooked Timber shares a photo of a courtyard in Montpellier.
  • D-Brief notes a study of the genetics of ancient Rome revealing that the city once was quite cosmopolitan, but that this cosmopolitanism passed, too.
  • Dangerous Minds notes a 1972 single where Marvin Gaye played the Moog.
  • Cody Delistraty looks at Degas and the opera.
  • Bruce Dorminey makes a case, scientific and otherwise, against sending animals into space.
  • Far Outliers looks at a 1801 clash between the American navy and Tripoli pirates.
  • Gizmodo notes a theory that ancient primates learned to walk upright in trees.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the Cayman Islands overturned a court ruling calling for marriage equality.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the experience of women under Reconstruction.
  • Language Hat notes the exceptional multilingualism of the Qing empire.
  • Language Log looks at circumstances where the Roman alphabet is used in contemporary China.
  • Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the forced resignation of Evo Morales in Bolivia, and calls for readers to take care with their readings on the crisis and the country.
  • Marginal Revolution considers a new sociological theory suggesting that the medieval Christian church enacted policy which made the nuclear family, not the extended family, the main structure in Europe and its offshoots.
  • Sean Marshall takes a look at GO Transit fare structures, noting how users of the Kitchener line may pay more than their share.
  • Neuroskeptic takes a look at the contradictions between self-reported brain activity and what brain scanners record.
  • Alex Hutchinson writes at the NYR Daily about human beings and their relationship with wilderness.
  • Jim Belshaw at Personal Reflections considers the impact of drought in Australia’s New England, and about the need for balances.
  • The Planetary Society Blog offers advice for people interested in seeing today’s transit of Mercury across the Sun.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer suggests Argentines may not have cared about their national elections as much as polls suggested.
  • Peter Rukavina shares an image of an ancient Charlottetown traffic light, at Prince and King.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the significant convergence, and remaining differences, between East and West Germany.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at some of the backstory to the Big Bang.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy suggests the Paris Accords were never a good way to deal with climate change.
  • Window on Eurasia shares someone arguing the policies of Putin are simple unoriginal Bonapartism.
  • Worthwhile Canadian Economy makes the case that slow economic recoveries are deep economic recoveries.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at how the failure of the media to serve as effective critics of politics has helped lead, in the UK of Brexit, to substantial political change.
  • Arnold Zwicky considers the idea, first expressed in comics, of Russian sardines.

[URBAN NOTE] Does every country have a “San Francisco”?

France has just carried out its first gay marriage, in the southern French city of Montpellier
that–as we are told in Agence France-Presse’s article–is apparently the San Francisco of France.

International media have begun converging on the “French San Francisco” where the country’s first official gay wedding is due to take place Wednesday amid tight security and fears of protests after months of opposition that saw tens of thousands take to the streets.

Vincent Autin, 40, and Bruno Boileau, 30, will exchange vows at the city hall in the southern city of Montpellier at 1530 GMT in the presence of hundreds of guests, including the Socialist government’s spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.

Vallaud-Belkacem said she was attending the ceremony as a private citizen and not a state representative7, after the government backed away from sending officials fearing it would be accused of politicising the event.

[. . .]

Opponents have vowed to protest at the marriage in Montpellier, known as the “French San Francisco” for its gay-friendly reputation, and authorities have called in up to 100 police, with another 80 in reserve, to provide security.

“It is an exceptional event and we want everything to go as smoothly as possible,” said Frederic Loiseau of the local prefect’s office.

San Francisco is the origin of the trope, used in reference to cities of importance–not necessarily in the first tier of a country’s urban hierarchy, maybe even not the second, but a regional centre nonetheless–with a tradition of special liberalism. I’ve heard Cologne (German Köln) described as Germany’s San Francisco–see JD Van Zyl’s 2010 Pink News article and on the talk page for Wikitravel’s profile of the city.

Does this work for every country? I can’t think of Canada having a San Francisco-type city–Toronto and Montréal and Vancouver are too large. Can the trope work only in countries of a certain size, which have the population base necessary for a diversified urban hierarchy that provides relatively small groups with convenient potential niches?

Written by Randy McDonald

May 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm