Campion Not Dead

Michel Campion, St Boniface, Brussels, Oct. 2014.
Michel Campion, St Boniface, Brussels, Oct. 2014.

What a fright I got. When I saw the windows emptied of their Leica, Rollei, Hasselblad, Plaubel, Mamiya, Nikon and their myriad of other film cameras, I thought that was the end of the line for old Campion’s shop. All the little boutiques of the Saint Boniface neighbourhood have been disappearing, one by one, in favour of restaurants that rake in heftier rents. The photographers’ cave of Ali Baba almost got shut out too, but last week, oh miracle ! – the ground floor space next door opened up. And so, The Second Hand Shop isn’t vanishing, just scooching over. Michel Campion’s got his smile back. Phew!

J’ai eu la trouille. En voyant les vitrines vidées de leurs Leica, Rollei, Hasselblad, Plaubel, Mamiya, Nikon et de la myriade d’autres appareils argentiques, j’ai cru que c’en était fait de la boutique du vieux Campion. Tous les petits commerces du quartier Saint Boniface disparaissent au profit de restaurants aux loyers plus juteux. Cette véritable institution, caverne d’Ali Baba de tous les photographes a bien failli passer à la trappe elle aussi. La semaine dernière, le rez-de-chaussée d’à-côté s’est libéré. Miracle. Le Second Hand Shop ne disparaît pas, il déménage de quelques mètres. Michel Campion a retrouvé le sourire. Ouf !

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