Monday, May 28, 2018

Le Pont de Bir-Hakeim

This is truly a multi-modal bridge. It carries pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and subway trains on its two levels. It connects both banks of the Seine to the Ile aux Cygnes, a narrow artificial island in the river, now a park and open to pedestrians. The bridge was named for a World War Two battle in Lybia. If you've seen the movie "Inception" with Leonardo diCaprio, this bridge figured in one of the Paris scenes with him and Marion Cotillard.

Pedestrian access to the bridge from the Right Bank.

I walked across the bridge toward the Left Bank and the Bir-Hakeim métro stop that many visitors use to get to the nearby Eiffel Tower. Along the way, I was surprised at how many young couples where posing for wedding pictures for professional photographers. Most of the couples were Asian and I could tell that a good number of the photographers were American. I guess the Eiffel Tower makes for a romantic background.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Bin pickin's

I wanted a photo of the métro passing over the Bir-Hakeim bridge, but I wasn't fast enough when the first train I saw went by. So I waited, taking time to set up the photo and camera settings before the next train. In the meantime, this man wandered into the shot and opened what I think is a recycling bin on the sidewalk. He wasn't in a hurry as he picked through the top layer, so there he is.

The French version of dumpster diving?

He paid no attention to me. I continued on to the bridge and up the stairs to the pedestrian walkway on the lower level.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Chaillot sky

After my stroll through the museum, I walked around the back side of the Palais de Chaillot and down toward the river. I hadn't been on the grounds in a long time and it was a nice walk.

A portion of the back side of the Palais de Chaillot.

I started thinking about lunch, and I had a small errand to run, so I headed toward the Bir-Hakeim bridge a little farther downstream to cross over to the Left Bank. As I passed an apartment building along the way, two well-dressed young women came out the front door. As they turned to head down the street, I heard one say to the other, "Bon ben, excuse-moi" (okay then, I'm sorry). The other replied sharply, "Je n'accepte pas tes excuses" (I do not accept your apology). They moved on rather quickly and out of earshot. A snippet of real life on the street.

Friday, May 25, 2018

At the Palais de Chaillot

I arrived at the Chaillot palace at about ten o'clock and walked up to the entrance to the architecture museum, one of several museums in the sprawling building. Then I saw that it didn't open until eleven. I suppose I could have hung out in a café for an hour, but instead I decided to visit another museum in the same building.

People love to take photos from this spot. I'm no exception.

It was the museum of man, an archeological and anthropological museum about the history of humans. They also had a special exhibit about Neanderthals. It was all mildly interesting and then I was out of there.

This one has a little part of the Palais de Chaillot in it.

So here are two photos of the Eiffel Tower taken from the terrace of the Palais de Chaillot. I like the first one best, but I also like the second one, so you get them both.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bye-bye Batignolles

After the Square, I made my way back to the Rome métro station. I had decided that I wanted to go to the architecture museum at the Palais de Chaillot at Trocadéro. I walked through part of the market that was set up on the Boulevard de Batignolles and was reminded of the variety of foods available to Parisian shoppers as well as the prices that city people are willing to pay. When I got home, I looked up the market on line to find that it's an organic market open only on Saturday mornings.

The market was set up in the boulevard's median, under the trees.

This is the view up the boulevard toward Montmartre and the iconic Sacré-Cœur basilica. I took the photo from across the train tracks on the rue de Rome before I even got to Batignolles, but I thought it would be a good way to end this series from that walk. I descended into the subway at the entrance you can see on the right, under the art-nouveau "Métropolitaine" sign designed by Hector Guimard over one-hundred years ago. Five stops to Charles-de-Gaulle/Etoile, transfer, then three stops to Trocadéro.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Park it

I planned my Saturday morning walk to reach the Square des Batignolles, a nice green park toward the northern end of the neighborhood. Beyond it, according to my twenty-year old plan de Paris (a pocket street map of the city), were rail yards and train maintenance shops.

Park benches in the Square des Batignolles.

But, once back at home, I was reminded why it's a good idea to get a new map every now and then. I could see on Google Maps that those rail yards are gone, replaced by a new park named for Martin Luther King, Jr., and surrounded by new residential developments. I would like to have seen that, and was very close to it, but I had no idea it was there.

A bridge over the pond in the Square des Batignolles.

Another reason to replace the maps is that the Paris transit system (métro and RER) have also been growing. There are new lines, line extensions, and new stations that don't show on the old maps. This was not so much of a problem for me, because as a former transit professional, I'm always looking at what's going on in Paris transit. Besides, all the maps in the stations are up to date.

Still, the next time one of us plans to be in Paris, we'll have to get a new map.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Le Tout Petit

I wasn't the only one out for a stroll early that Saturday morning. Well, the pigeon wasn't really strolling. It was more like jogging. And I don't jog, so it passed me soon after I snapped the photo.

The next time I'm in Paris, I should try to take photos of these places in the evening.

This is a little restaurant (it says bistro in small print under the name) on the Place du Docteur-Félix-Lobligeois in Paris' Batignolles neighborhood. The name, Le Tout Petit, translates as "the little (or littlest) one." I don't know why it's called that, except that the restaurant looks a lot smaller than the other eateries around it. I looked at their web site and Facebook page, but I didn't find anything about the name.