Monday, April 19, 2010

Grenelle Bridge~ Missing Paris Day

Just near our apartment in the
15th arrondissement in Paris is the Grenelle Bridge,
connecting the 15th to the 16th and, as you can see above,
allowing the above-ground metro
to cross the Seine.

All the Haussmann-style apartment buildings in view here
were at one time rolling-hill estates outside
the city limits of Paris and once housing guests with names like
Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
(One can see what I call "painting snapshots" of these estates at
the free Musee Carnavalet~ a favorite haunt for views of historical Paris.)

little turn
out on the bridge
is one of my favorite
"Champagne Walk" locations
to take visiting guests for an evening
stroll with a bottle of bubbly and this lovely view
of the sparkling Eiffel Tower which shimmers every evening on the hour.

(And while I like to think this idea was purely my own creation, we frequently
find remnants of others 'partays' in empty champagne bottles left strewn about.)
(BTW~ We carry ours home!)

Like everywhere in Paris,
there are a myriad of walking choices from here.

While I love to walk the cobblestone path along the Seine,
I love even more to study the decor
of the seafaring owners and renters
who inhabit these river homes, picturing myself
sleeping in the little hull,
swaying with each boat's passing.

In the summertime,
outdoor tables and chairs are set up
to take the greatest advantage of the sparkling tower
while they wine and dine themselves and their friends
in the warm evening air, flowering potted plants
spilling blossoms at their feet and
the peal of laughter
and clinking wine glasses
dancing out along the water.

In winter, as you can see above, some of the boats
erect Christmas trees to light up at night.

From Grenelle Bridge,

even in the worst weather,

Montmartre can be easily viewed,

sometimes even glowing in a puddle of sunshine

that hasn't reached us yet.

"The Chef" and I often get off at the Passy Metro stop

across the river and walk the last several blocks home
to be able to cross our bridge,

take in the view and enjoy the neighborhood.

I sometimes wish our Grenelle Bridge

could connect the centuries so I could walk across time

and glimpse more of the city as Jefferson or some medieval figure saw it.

But Paris is already filled

with so many time portals that I'm grateful for what I can get

and give thanks to those artists

who stopped time

just for a moment

in all kinds of weather,

financial situations, health crises

and questionable mental states to give us their own snapshot

and send it over the bridge.

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)


  1. Kirsten ma belle,

    What a delicious post....everything about it; the words, the photos and the shape of the Eiffel Tower in your narrative...what a treat. Thank you for inviting us to your Paris....Anita

  2. Oh, how I long to take just such a champagne walk. I also dream of taking pictures like you do some day. I don't mean just the subject, either. I mean the quality.

  3. Anita~And thank you for coming along to my Paris!

    Relyn~ Champagne and Paris just seem to go together! And I love your pictures as well!


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