Paris is full of famous and familiar sights, and they have their place in memory and in blogs, but the city is also full of the less familiar, or the familiar viewed from new angles. Of course, I'll never see them all, but here are some collected on a recent visit.
Sometimes, it's a jarring contrast that catches the eye; this abstract sculpture was on a temporary assignment in the Tuileries gardens, outside the Orangerie museum, home to many of Monet's water-lily paintings. More often, it's an everyday view; the one at the top is in the 18e, at "my" Metro station.
Sometimes it's other people who draw the eye. Top, a crowd at the Museé d'Orsay, with cameras and phones out; next, an excellent concert one morning in the Metro and, below, one of the many weddings on Friday afternoons at the town hall of the 18th Arrondissement.
Birds get my attention, too. Not as much as some friends think, but enough. A really well-turned-out pigeon at Notre-Dame, a parade of swans in the Seine, and a self-satisfied duck at the Canal Saint-Martin.
The Canal is a favorite place for a walk and some pictures; over the years its area has become less gritty and more artsy/gentrified, but the Canal itself is still a treat.
Stepping indoors for a moment, an unusual implement at the Dehilleren kitchenware store (guesses?) and an absolutely outrageous turn-of-the-20th-century lamp at Pied de Cochon, a favorite stop for onion soup and more. George G spotted the lamp as our One-Clue Mystery this week.
While we're on food, here's my bread picture for today (one of my absolutely favorite scenes in Paris: any respectable pile of bread) and the awning of a bar that should give you a Clue to the origin of the name...
On the Île de la Cité, outside Police Headquarters, a real line-up. And, on a nearby stairway, an outbreak of the unfortunately ubiquitous 'love-locks.'
Four years ago, the locks were swept off the Pont des Arts, where their weight damaged the railings of the bridge, but that wasn't the end of the war; an area on the Pont Neuf became the new focus. Last month, these locks, 40 tons of them, were removed by the city and will be sold at auction.
Along the river, below the iconic booksellers' stands, there are unexpected views, such as the door halfway down these stairs connecting the quais to the river.
The height of the river walls creates intimate spaces below them, almost as if the city above were far away.
And sometimes there's the moment you can't go back for: Seen from the terrace of the Museé d'Orsay, with a rainbow crossing the landscape.