13 prairial an 2, battaile de 13 prairial an 2, Canal Saint-Martin, Charlie Hebdo, Coulée verte, flâneur, folie, folies, Gare Saint-Lazare, La Grande Canopée, mannikins, Nuit Debout, parc de la Villette, Parc Monceau, Paris, Promenade plantée, rue des petits carreaux, rue Richard Lenoir
While I’ve mostly posted on specific topics and visits this year I’ve continued to log my Paris walking average of seven miles a day. This post collects some of the interesting or attractive things I’ve run across in my wanderings (saving art for a later post).
One of my favorite walks in Paris is along the Promenade plantée (also called the Coulée verte), which transformed abandoned railroad infrastructure into a leafy linear park. It begins near the Place de la Bastille and runs several miles to the Parc Vincennes. The first section is elevated, connected with a short level stretch, through a tunnel, with a depressed section.
The monument in the center of the Place de la Republique was totally renovated in 2010-13, then trashed after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015 and during the Nuit Debout protests in 2016. It has now been restored, ready for the next popular uprising.
There’s a lot of history on the plaques around the base of the monument. This one commemorates the biggest naval victory of the First French Republic, over the British fleet. In our calendar it took place on June 1, 1794, but the Revolution established a new calendar starting at year 1, including new names for the months.
There are officially sanctioned skateboard areas all around Paris. This one is right on the Place de la Republique.
The Parc de la Villette in the northeast corner of Paris contains a dozen or more “folies.” Some have uses but many, like this one, are purely decorative.
There are a lot of ancient-looking ruins in Parc Monceau. The columns themselves are fairly old, but they have been repositioned for aesthetic effect much more recently: “The Naumachie of the Park was built with the columns of the ancient Rotunda of Valois, ordered by Catherine de Medicis to house Henry II tomb.” [Source]
Mot du jour: 2CV. The Citroën 2CV, 1948-90. 2CV literally means deux chevaux, “two horsepower,” but the original version actually had nine.