When people ask me why I chose to study mechanical engineering rather than music, English, or something else, I explain that I have never shaken my childhood urge to play with Legos. Engineering, while somewhat removed from Legos, scratches the itch, but it doesn’t stop me from visiting as many Lego stores as I can when I get the chance.
I’m always impressed by the unique statues and models on display at each store. Here are some of my favorites alongside some awesome sets.
I didn’t realize until I came to Paris how much the Harry Potter art designers drew on Parisian architecture for the movie version of Hogwarts.
Speaking of Harry Potter, I took a brief trip to see Nicolas Flamel’s house. (It’s not to far from the Pompidou Museum and the Lego Store, if you’re ever in Paris). Nicolas Flamel was a real person J. K. Rowling lifted from history and included in her stories. The historical Flamel was a scribe and manuscript seller during the second half of the 1300’s. Four hundred years later rumors began circulating about his supposed work as an alchemist and creator/possessor of the philosopher’s stone which granted him immortality. Today, the house where he and his wife Perenelle lived is a restaurant where the kid’s meal deal is called the “Harry Potter meal”.
On another pop-culture note, I noticed that there are mosaics of little space invaders above street signs and on walls all over Paris. I started taking pictures and finally got around to looking them up.
I turns out that there is a street artist who terms himself Invader, who secretly puts up the pixel-ized critters all over Paris and other cities in the world. Each work is given a point value based on its difficulty to place. You can find more of his work here. They make me smile.
I also learned that Invader creates mosaics from grids of solved Rubik’s Cubes, a style of art he terms “Rubikcubism”. (If you want to know more about Rubik’s cubes, go here.)
Anyway, I’ve enjoyed the pop-culture side as well as the historical side of Paris. It is, after all, an evolving living city. So there you have it: Legos, Space Invaders, and Nicolas Flamel.