Monday, June 27, 2011

Writer's Tour near Pont Neuf~ Walks in Paris

Recently I took a Writer's Tour/Walk in Paris
following online directions to several late writer's home addresses. 

But before I began, taking full advantage of late spring's perfect weather,
I took my little baguette sandwich from a nearby stand
and (joined the crowds) for my own little 
Picnic Partay for One! 

I parked myself on a bench in the shade 
in this sweet little park just adjacent to the Pont Neuf
(which, of course, I don't ever recall seeing before). 

It was the perfect place to begin an afternoon
to myself in Paris. The Chef had business to attend to 
so it was just me and a few dead writers. 

After I finished my sandwich,
I followed the directions to the last home of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.
At Rue Dauphine at the end of the Pont Neuf,
go just two blocks up to Rue Christine and make a left. 

According to this online source,
it was here at 5, rue Christine that Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas lived
(after they left the more famous rue de Fleurus address and with a few absences)
 until Stein's death in a Neuilly sur Seine hospital (a suburb of Paris) in 1946.
Toklas stayed on until 1964.
(Unfortunately the only car on the entire block
had to be a huge white van parked directly in front of their door,
limiting my photo capabilities of their address.)

In the mesmerizing glow of warm sunshine and Gertrude Stein's ghost,
it took me awhile to make myself leave the block
so I took a few more photos as I haunted the street's treasures. 
 I found an interesting shadow pattern inside one entry...

...and the lovely courtyard of a hotel at the other end of the block.

Just a few doors down from 5, rue Christine, this restaurant 
left me wondering if it had also been a food establishment during their years here.
Maybe they popped in on warm afternoons like this one for an aperitif before dinner. 
And maybe they stayed on for a plat de poisson or a souris d'agneau 
before walking the few steps back to their own door, their books and their art. 

I finally made it off the block
to continue on the tour to a few more artist's addresses.
Next week we'll continue our Walk in Paris with a few more pictures
of my one day of the 8-day 'American Writers in Paris' Tour.

And if you wish to see the full tour, 

(Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen)


  1. Bonjour mon amie,

    Well, when all is said and done, PARIS is the place that captures my heart...oh dear, then there is PROVENCE...I CAN'T MAKE UP MY MIND!!!! THANK YOU for your tours that always enchant me!

    Peace, Anita

  2. This is so fascinating- you're so lucky to be there and capture a glimpse of the past! I went on to 'read more' and was amazed to read about all the writers 'non-French' that lived there! Even Mark Twain (even if only 3 months!) Excellent post- I learned so much-Thanks!

  3. What a wonderful tour of Paris...with a different viewpoint......Have a wonderful weekend...xv

  4. Thank you for taking me fun it is to walk the streets and imagine your self in another time and place...I am mesmerized with the era of Gertrude Stein.
    I hope that you are enjoying your weekend! thank you so much for the beautiful comments :)

  5. Isn't that one of the most wonderful things about traveling to Europe? I love those literary walks!
    Have a Happy Fourth of July, Kirsten.

  6. loving you tours, Kirsten!
    Happy 4th to you! Enjoy your holiday and have a great week! xo


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