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Another cold morning, but like the last few days it was sunny so it warmed up a bit. I headed out to the Place de la Bastille to see the Viaduc des Arts. It’s a handsome 19th century brick railway viaduct which has been brilliantly re-purposed. Each arch has been developed into an artist’s studio and/or store, also including a few restaurants.

Viaduc des Arts near the Bastille.

The top of the viaduct, called the Coulée verte René-Dumont or the Promenade plantée, is a 2.8 mile walkway lined with flower beds and flowering trees. This project, completed in 2000, was one of the inspirations for New York’s High Line (as shown in a 2005 New York Times article, The Secret Jardin).

Promenade plantée, the first part of which is atop the Viaduc des Arts.

This afternoon I visited the Gustave-Moreau Museum. He was a contemporary of the Impressionists but instead painted in a dreamy symbolist style that may have inspired the surrealist movement but otherwise didn’t catch on. He built the museum himself and donated it to the state. I’m quite fond of his most famous piece, Oedipus and the Sphinx (which is in the Met) but I was mostly underwhelmed by the rest of his oeuvre.

Gustave-Moreau Museum

Nevertheless, it made a curious outing, and one that I can be pretty sure that neither of my visiting friends will insist on our returning to.

Jason arrives tomorrow so I’ll spend part of the morning getting my tiny place ready for two. It will be easier for Jaime in May since that apartment has a lot more elbow room. There seems to be a brass band playing somewhere nearby so I think I had better go have a look…

Photos from the past few days are up at Paris-6