La Seine and Its Bridges, Paris
In the historical centre of Paris, on the Île de la Cité, at the meeting point of the Quai de l'Horloge, Boulevard du Palais & the Pont au Change, on the Tour de l'Horloge, ON the corner of the medieval Conciergerie building is the most antiquated clock (horloge) in all of Paris! Not only is it the oldest but, yes, dear readers, it was also the first public clock in Paris. It lends its imagery & name to the nearby quai (Quay of the Clock) and continues the Gothic note of this historic area that is so closely interwoven with royalty.
While it is not exactly off-the-beaten path, most people do overlook this interesting architectural curiosity that had been marking time since its installation by Charles V in 1370 (or 1371 dependent upon your resources). It was damaged during the Revolution and several reports I've read state that it no longer works BUT the dials do seem to move! You see on my photo that the face reads one time (around 12:07pm) yet in this photo you see another time (9:24am). Here's another photo but I cannot see the time on it clearly.
In any case, the clock was refurbished by Henri III who added the inscription that would read in English:
He who already gave him two crowns will give him a third one
This is in reference to God giving Henri III a heavenly crown after He already gave him the crowns of France & Poland.
The blue background of the clock you'll see covered with the very royal fleurs-de-lys while the figure on the left signifies Law & the figure on the right signifies Justice.
Photos: April 2003 & Feb 2006
Along the banks of the Seine between the Pont des Arts and Pont Neuf you will find lots of bouquiniste stalls. They sell second-hand books, posters, and different objects. Nowadays they sell lots of souvenirs as well. You can walk from stall to stall checking the offerings.
Gerald & Sarah Murphy's Home
23 Quai des Grands Augustins
(or 1 rue Git-le-Cœur)
(along the Left Bank of the Seine)
The Murphys were the type of folks of which myth was made. F. Scott Fitzgerald placed them as the Dick & Nicole Divers characters in Tender is the Night, in fact they were great friends of the Fitzgeralds.
They were also great friends of the Hemingways. Hemingway attributed the demise of his marriage to his first wife, Hadley, to the influence of his rich friends, the Murphys, because they introduced to him the woman who tore his marriage apart (not that HE didn't have a hand in the matter); all chronicled in his memoir of Paris, A Moveable Feast.
This address is just around the corner from where Oscar Wilde's niece, Dolly Wilde, used to live at 1 rue Git-le-Cœur, and just down the street from e.e. cumming's "pisseur" incident. If you travel further down the quai on your way to the Musée d'Orsay, you'll discover where Oscar Wilde was "dying beyond" his means at 19 Quai Voltaire.
Their most famous address, however, was the Villa America on the Cap d'Antibes which Fitzgerald wrote about. It may be these writing that popularized this area of the Riviera, lent it a certain '20s flair, a cachet. People such as Dorothy Parker used to visit them here.
Also great friends to Cole & Linda Porter as testified in the recent movie De-Lovely (starring Ashley Judd and Kevin Kline).
The only bridge that is made of wood and is for pedestrain only ...thats where I am supposed to meet my friend Romain at 9.15am but there was an accident in the tube so I was late. I am so sorry Romain.
And when I was there...I discover that he bought some croissant and coffee ..how nice of him...and we had breakfast on the Pont des Arts . It was a beautiful morning ....and its cool to dine on the bridge (my first )...but then the wind came and blew our paper bags away ...there goes our serviette ...lol...
Go to the side of the big river, Seine, and then just follow it, anyway you want. Just relax, look at the boats, the people and before you know it you will have found a new thing to see...
The river goes right through the Paris-centrum, which means it's easy to go from one famous piece of building to another. Just take a few others around the Siene, and you'll have seen a lot!
Dolly Wilde's place
1 rue Gît-le-Cœur
(close to the Left Bank of the Seine)
A close friend of Natalie Barney's and the flamboyant & unusual niece of Oscar Wilde (gee, wonder where those characteristics came from!), Dolly had quite the reputation in the '30s while living in Paris. She also looked remarkably like her uncle.
Website below provides link to a biography about her called Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story of Dolly Wilde.
This was also the residence of Gilbert Seldes, a close friend of e. e. cummings, the poet, and he was the managing editor of The Dial. Seldes called this building Chez Murphy because of its proximity to Gerald & Sara Murphy's apartment (just around the corner).
I read about both of these expatriates in Expatriate Paris: A Cultural & Literary Guide to Paris of the 1920's by Arlen Hansen, a fabulous compendium of Paris stories.
If you are one of those people who can't get enough of the River Seine, then this is your place. Here you can walk (or cycle) along this nice promenade and have the Seine on both sides of you, because it is on a long narrow island right in the middle of the river. Cygnes means swans, by the way, but I didn't see any, just a couple of ducks.
Second photo: Boats at the Port de Grenelle, with some modern buildings in the background, as seen from the Allee des Cygnes.
Third photo: The Statue of Liberty, at the downstream tip of the island near the Grenelle Bridge.
Fourth photo: Looking upstream from the Grenelle Bridge.
Location on the Vélib' map
At the path-walk along the Seine (mostly on the left bank) you'll get the chance to do a little 'river shopping'.
There is lots and lots of these small street-shops selling old books, posters, postcards and stuff like that.
You'll find thngs at all price levels and it's very interesting to just look even though you don't wanna buy anything.
Almost 250 of these 'salesmen' get an 'official license' from the town every year.
During the Paris Plage Time, you can eat on the Quays.
And drink too.
On the picture, it was a bottle of water. Believe me.
But you can bring a wine or a beer bottle.
2005 : from 21 July and 20 August.
From Mid-July to Mid-August, each Year, the Quays are open to the tourists and to the Parisians.
The town supplys freely deck chairs, umbrellars, balls for the "petanque" (a French sport), skating way, bicycles, concerts, books, etc...
Diving in the Seine is forbiden and ... dangerous.
The right bank of the Seine is devoted to the amusement between Concorde (West) to Mazas (East).
2005 : from 21 July to 20 August. Focused on Brasil (Samba)
Try looking for them... Les Bouquinistes are an old tradition of books sellers lined on the Seine edges. You'll find vintage and new books, pictures, photos, music, postcards... and a wee bit of the Paris ambiance!
I liked it a lot.
Probabily you know, and it's true. One of the most romantic thinks in the world: a walk near the Seine.
Problablement ja ho sabeu, i és veritat. Una de les coses més romàntiques el món: Un passeig vora el Sena.
If you go to Paris you won't miss the beautiful cruises in the Seine, in the "Bateaux Mouches". I really enjoyed it and not even the rain and the thunders that begun when we were right in the middle of the river (near Notre Damme) made it worse: in fact, it was great!
Pont des Arts
This is a full sized bridge just for pedestrians that crosses the Seine between the Louvre and the Instiut de France. It makes for a very casual place to stop for a picnic.
Metro: Pont Neuf
Pont Neuf: Well, it was rather surprising for me to find out that the oldest bridge in the city is called 'New Bridge' (that's how Pont Neuf translates from French). Many famous names are associated with it: Henry III laid the first stone, Henry IV inaugurated it, renowneed writers depicted it in their art works.