Paris Journal 2001 - August 13 (continued)

<Previous Page   Next Page>

Here the bridge is almost all the way open. bridgeopens.jpg (50657 bytes)
The Adagio goes through the opening. adagiobridge.jpg (61653 bytes)
And the bridge closes again.


The bridge, by the way, is located by a square named for a Franciscan convent which used to stand nearby.  (Square des Récollets)


bridgecloses.jpg (60793 bytes)
canalview.jpg (50382 bytes)
canalview2.jpg (47593 bytes)
Here and there along the way are signs that explain the work going on along the canal, as well as some of the canal's special features.


amenagement.jpg (26692 bytes)
As I mentioned, there are a number of parks along the way as you go down the Canal.   Finally, you reach a point where the canal disappears into a tunnel.  Then you have nothing but park all the way down to the Place de la Bastille.  This statue, I believe, was near where the tunnel begins.  I thought the statue was amusing, but I don't know anything about La Grisette de 1830.  I thought the combination of the topknot on her head and the pigeons on each puffy-sleeved shoulder was cute.

In parks like this, we'd see clusters of "SDFs."  According to Le Parisien (the local paper), and SDF is a person "sans domicile fixe," or "without a permanent address."   It is a euphemism for "homeless."  I wonder if this is a way of disguising the true numbers of homeless people in Paris?  We see more now than ever, probably as a result of the massive waves of legal and illegal immigration from places like Turkey, Pakistan, the Balkans, and many African countries.

One sees markers similar to this one (at right) all over Paris, but usually they aren't quite so overwritten.  This marker is in one of the parks along the Canal St. Martin.   I'm not sure who Charles Dupas was, but maybe some of you know.  All I know is that this marker seems to say he was an aspiring genius to fell (i.e., died) gloriously for the liberation of Paris on August 21, 1944, at the age of 29.

Another possible interpretation of "genie," according to the dictionary, is "engineer."   That would bring this marker more closely in line with the others I've seen.   But the use of the word "glorieusement" is still unusual for one of these somber signs.  I wonder what the story was?

grisette1830.jpg (59498 bytes)
ilesttombe.jpg (48890 bytes)
I glanced across the street, away from the canal, and captured this beautifully graffitied building. graffitibldg.jpg (51090 bytes)
At the rue du Faubourg du Temple, right on the line that divides the 10th and 11th arrondissements, is a lock and then the beginning of a tunnel, shown here.  From here all the way through the 11th the canal is hidden from view, but there is a pleasant boulevard (Bd. Jules Ferry/Bd. Richard Lenoir) with a central park and market areas all along the top of the tunnel.  The canal does not reappear until the 4th arrondissement, after it passes beneath the Place de la Bastille.

It is as if the people of the 11th decided they did not want a canal, they wanted a park instead.  So, a park they built, right over the canal.  It isn't too surprising that they made this choice many years ago, because the canal used to be very polluted and disgusting.  And lots of bad things happened all along its route, according to the exhibit we saw in the Hotel de Ville (city hall).

And when the canal reappears, here in the 4th arrondissement, after Bastille, it is no longer called the Canal St. Martin.  It is the Port de l'Arsenal, and it is much wider than the canal.  It goes on like this for several blocks and then it goes under a couple bridges and, VOILA!  The Seine.

canaltunnel.jpg (48306 bytes)
bastillebasin.jpg (49265 bytes)
The captain of this boat in the Port de l'Arsenal appears to be feline, seen here guarding the anchor. catcaptain.jpg (38296 bytes)
The dark hole on the right side of this pic is the opening of the tunnel at the end of the Place de la Bastille. 

Above the hole, the line of windows is a part of the large Bastille Métro station.

You can see by the fading light that it was time for us to go in search of dinner.   So we took the number 8 Métro directly home and had a light summer dinner in a favorite sidewalk café.  It was a perfect evening for dining outdoors.

bastilleend.jpg (26433 bytes)

Home         <Previous Page   Next Page>