Monday, July 24
The brand-new Simone-de-Beauvoir pedestrian bridge, already famous for its vibrations, which we did feel.
The thoroughly modern pedestrian bridge even has its own elevators on each end.
graffiti where homeless live near the Seine, east of the
Looking east from the pedestrian bridge, the air was disgusting with smoke from the “déchetterie,” or trash-burning plant.
water in the reflecting pools in the Bercy park. Pumps like this have been installed to help
improve the water, which I think comes from the
By the way, the
One of four towers that comprise the Mitterand (National) Library. The sky looks much better in this direction (looking west).
Water in the
Another view of the reflecting pool in the Bercy park.
Dinner at Le Tire Bouchon on Friday night with friends was delightful. We’ve been going to this restaurant for eight summers now. One year, last year or the year before, the quality seemed to slip just a bit. But Chef Laurent Floury is right back up there at the top of his game again this year. We had the best dinner we’ve ever had there. I think this restaurant is now once again my number 1 recommendation. And, importantly, it is air conditioned and now entirely non-smoking.
and I went on one of those marathon 5-hour walks. We wanted to take a look at the newest
addition to the annual
When we emerged
from the end-of-the-line Gare d’Austerlitz métro station, we had a pleasant little walk
along the left bank there, going yet farther to the east. We were amazed at the majesty of the façade
addition to the
There is not so
much sand used in this section of the
This newest stretch of Beach is far, far less crowded than the right bank. The crowds on the right bank are just insane.
The new Beach
is also the site of
here claims that water from the
the new improvements to this eastern section of the left bank, we crossed
over the new pedestrian bridge to take a pleasant walk and rest in the Parc
de Bercy. This is one of our favorite
garden in the park is named for Yitzhak Rabin. It includes some long reflecting pools that
use, I think, water from the
our way slowly through the park and thoroughly enjoying it, we checked out
the cafés at the
We were about to ask if we could be seated on the real side, on the terrace, when the smart waiter said that inside, the dining room was air conditioned, and non-smoking, and if we were hot, we might like that. (All this was in French, which I understood completely and explained to Tom later.) We were indeed hot. We ate inside, and it was wonderful. The wine sold by the glass includes many choices, with very low prices. Their objective is to get you to try different wines, and then you might buy a few bottles in the wine shop that is part of the restaurant. There are symbols on the menu to suggest which wines to try with which salads or main courses. The air conditioning was real, not a false promise as is often the case. Tom’s bottled water was not just cold, it was absolutely frigid. The food was very, very nice, but simple.
The placemats indicated that there are other Nicolas cafés in other parts of Paris – one at the Place de la Madeleine, for example, and one at 17, avenue de l’Opera. We will have to see if these are just as nice, cool, and reasonable, because it is hard to find a GOOD brasserie in those places.
At lunch we realized that we weren’t too far from the Promenade Plantée, one of our favorite walks because the promenade is built up one or two levels from the street, where an elevated train track used to be, and atop the workshops called the Viaduc des Arts. The promenade is quiet, and beautifully planted and designed. It took us up to the Place de la Bastille, where we saw one of the big groups of rollerbladers taking off for one of their Randonées.
Once again we
were footsore, so we took refuge and rested in another park alongside the
basin where the
traversing the length of the mad part of the
The end of the Tour de France was magical, with the very well-liked Floyd Landis in the yellow jersey. So nice for an American to win once again. But this American is evidently much more popular among the French and among the riders than Lance Armstrong. One of the riders who used to be with Lance explained that people like Landis because he is not “bossy,” the implication being that Lance, who was known as The Boss, was too bossy.
We then had another nice dinner en famille with Dan and Mary at the brasserie on the Parc du Commerce. The waiter was very sweet and smiled a lot, and the food was good. Dan and Mary had already eaten at McDonalds, so they just had a few snack-like items as Tom and I had dinner. But it was fun.
Dead fish and
litter in the
A composition in the Park of the Arsenal, below the Place de la Bastille, with houseboats nearby.
The floating Josephine Baker pool on the left bank, on the city’s east side, near the Mitterand Library.