Thursday, September 28, 2006

Rouge de Paris

Studies in red. Les études dans rouge.

Warning: I used a free online translator, so if some phraseology is BAD, pardonnez moi!

Click on photos for larger views.

Red curtain - rideau rouge

Strawberries and yogurt - fraises et yogourt

Window dressing on rue Montaigne - la fenêtre s'habille sur rue de montaigne

Petit-pont - Petit-pont

Dinner cruise on the Seine - la croisière de dîner sur la Seine

Red stool in antique market - le tabouret rouge dans le marché antique

Red awning - auvent rouge

Red dress in the Tuileries - la robe rouge dans le Tuileries

Top of stone wall facing Notre Dame cathedral where painters set up small easels - Le sommet de mur de pierre faisant face à la cathédrale de Dame de Notre où les peintres établissent de petits chevalets

Good parking spot - le bon endroit de parking

Trash is trash in any language - les déchets sont des déchets dans n'importe quelle langue

Louvre pyramid - Louvre pyramide

Fancy bike - vélo luxueux

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

An island: Île de la Cité, part one

Click on photos to enlarge.

Map of Paris

Map of Île de la Cité

As you can see in the map of Paris, top, there are two islands in the Seine. The larger of the two, the one on the left, is the Île de la Cité. The smaller one, to the east of it, is the Île Saint-Louis. On maps, they resemble ships in the water.

There is so much to be found on the Île de la Cité alone, it's too much for one post. So this time I'm just going to hit on some views of the southern side of the island, mainly of the bridges connecting the Left Bank with the island.

This view is looking east, toward the tip of the island, and at the Pont Neuf. Keep in mind that pont means "bridge," which you probably would figure out after a while. As you can see, Pont Neuf spans the Seine all the way across the tip of the island.

Pont Neuf across the tip of Île de la Cité

The next bridge walking east and on the south side of the island is Pont St-Michel. This view is looking west and shows the Palace of Justice, within the walls of which is housed the Ste-Chapelle chapel, one of the must-sees with its 800-year old stained glass windows. An intimate concert there with a chamber orchestra at night is pure heaven.

Pont St-Michel

Walking east you'll come to the Petit Pont, or "little bridge." In this view, again looking west, you are looking at the Prefecture of Police, where famously the French Resistance held out against the German Nazis in August 1944, the beginning of the Liberation of Paris.

Petit Pont

Then comes Pont au-Double. "The first bridge at this location was built as a two-story building, an annex to the Hötel Dieu ( a hospital). First requested in 1515, it was finally constructed in 1634. The floor that served as a passageway for the hospital staff was envied by pedestrians annoyed by the congestion at the Petit Pont. So the passage-way was opened to the public in exchange for the payment of a 'double-denier' from which the current name was derived.Payment for passage continued until the Revolution. The bridge collapsed in 1709, was reconstructed in its original form, then in 1803, when the smaller branch of the Seine was opened to navigation, was replaced by the existing structure, with a single arch." (from

Pont au Double, looking east

Pont au Double closeup

When you get to the Petit Pont, the bridge before last, you see this view of the Notre Dame cathedral looking east. The Notre Dame is at the stern of the "ship" of the Île de la Cité.

Notre Dame cathedral with Petit Pont in foreground, looking east

There, you've walked the whole southern (larboard) side of the Île de la Cité!

The Notre Dame looking west:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Shakespeare & Co, part deux

Click on images for enlarged views.

I posted about Shakespeare & Co in the first post on this blog back in April 2006. Don't confuse this bookstore with the bookstore chain in NYC that is not connected but borrowed the name. My daughter happened upon it this summer.

This one is across the Seine from the Notre Dame cathedral on the Left Bank. Mr. George Whitman is a character and a half in his 90s who has lived in Paris most of his life. He owns this quirky bookstore and keeps it as earthy and vibrant as he seems to keep himself. (Does he really "trim" his hair with flames from a candle?)

George Whitman (photo from the Shakespeare & Co website)

If you click and enlarge this image of a blackboard, you can read what George Whitman has written.

He and his daughter Sylvia run the place. They invite nomadic writers and students to sleep in a bed upstairs and sweep up or tidy piles of books for their keep (and you must read a book a day).

They also invite famous writers to read from their works, Henry Miller among them some time ago.

In May 2006 I visited the bookstore as I do whenever I visit Paris. This time I joined a poetry group upstairs for a reading. The stairs are treacherous. There were probably 30 people in this little room. The pew I sat on against the wall was falling apart. I met a film attorney from LA who said she'd come speak to our film students, and listened to some terrific poetry.

Upstairs room for readings

Cecilia Woloch and a group of her poetry fans and students. (Click on her name and read a poem or two on her site; she's very good.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tuileries Gardens

Please click on images for larger views.

view toward rue de Rivoli

The Tuileries Gardens are where you go to rest your feet after a long, tiring day. That is not to say the gardens are not a prime destination in and of themselves. But the location is so central, it's impossible not to want to sit and rest there after walking Paris. They begin where the Louvre leaves off, and stretch all the way to Place de la Concorde.

Looking toward the Louvre and the Arc du Carrousel. You can rent a sailboat and push it with a stick around the fountain.

Many mythological figures overlook the Tuileries

There is always ice cream.

And lunch breaks.

And naps.