Paris Journals

All For The Love Of A River

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An April 2004 trip to Paris by kjlouden

Every Sight is Familiar. Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: I wish for everyone a day on the Seine! Mine exceeded my expectations. I had never been to Paris and hadn’t had a glimpse of the waterway, but I have always known, as we all know, that Paris is the ultimate river city that preserves a pastoral way of life.

All For The Love Of A River

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Overview

Every Sight is Familiar. Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Every foot of its banks is familiar, programmed into our memories. U. S. revitalization projects since the 1950’s have been inspired by it, cleaning and decorating our rivers to make them centers of activity, as in more pastoral times. (That’s it! Paris is a pastoral city!) Anyone who has witnessed a renewal like Chicago’s River North knows how a stream transforms a town and can try to imagine Paris. But narrow those banks to make them "cozy," build many more (pedestrian) bridges, and add enough romantic-era, classically-inspired statuary (some at water level) to...Read More

Hotel de Ville - City Hall of Paris

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Attraction | "Place de Greve and Hotel de Ville"

Hotel de Ville - City Hall of Paris Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Paris begins to look inward. By the 11th century, Paris had outgrown Ile de la Cite, the Seine was still wider, and the present site was the chief mercantile center for river traders. Place de Greve, the medieval name for the square, was also the spot where striking tradesmen gathered to air their gripes--and even in ancient times, Paris had plenty of trades, from cathedral-builders to cobblers. The square was also where public executions and torture were staged for the "benefit" of the griping or market-going public. Creative execution Torture took many forms. Dissenting folk were boiled alive, strangled, burned, beheaded or "quartered" (p...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 18, 2004

Hotel de Ville - City Hall of Paris
4, Place De L'hôtel-de-ville
Paris, France 75004
+33 1 42 76 50 49

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

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Attraction | "Notre Dame de Paris"

Cathédrale Notre-Dame Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Western heritage. One of the greatest achievements of Gothic architecture, Notre Dame, first large gothic cathedral, was begun in 1163. For centuries, it has been center of French life, so much so that French highway markers measure kilometers from Notre Dame. "Kilometer zero" is marked on Place du Parvis. Crusaders prayed here. Napoleon crowned himself emperor (1804), and many of us remember requiem mass for Charles de Gaulle (1970). An important church in Christendom, it should offer better tours! Is change coming? We found Notre Dame gleaming white in April sun. Its recent bath should be only the beginning. Inside, mar...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 19, 2004

Cathédrale Notre-Dame
6, place du Parvis-de-Notre-Dame
Paris, France 75004
+33 (1) 42 34 56 10

Riding and Strolling the Seine

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Story/Tip

Afternoon on the Seine Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
To walk or ride along the Seine? For our two days in Paris, we consulted several sources for advice on what to see. You know, those 1-, 2-, or 3-day suggested itineraries? Not one mentioned a water taxi down the Seine, but all of them included neighborhood walks. One does not exclude the other, so we decided to both walk and ride to see as much as possible our first day. We were thrilled by 7:00 p.m., when Batobus battens down in March and April (9:00 in summer months) with the extent of our familiarity with the city. From eight stops, we walked plenty. You can click your way through those stops at Batobus’ website or print t...Read More

Everyday Statuary

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Story/Tip

Arab Warrior  Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Statues talk! This is not about fabulous museum pieces or treasured, protected art. My favorites are the outdoor displays commissioned by municipal planners. They can be considered "gifts" to the citizenry, and sometimes they send a message to the people from the city: "We’re sorry" or "You were right all along and we’re finally ready to admit it" or "We’re going to change now." They’re always somewhat "interactive" in that they evoke a response. The public may reply, "We don’t believe you!" Conversely, "It’s about time!" or "Thank God!" The visitor may simply whisper a delighted "Oooh, how nice!" This "dialogue" can be quite deafening in ...Read More