Bernard, who is here in Paris, wrote to say that you can read the story of Paris on the street. Every block or so, there’s a nice informative sign in front of a building saying when it was completed, who the architect was and which famous people lived there.
I passed Andre Gide’s apartment yesterday and often stop at the door of the convent where Josephine lived after Napoleon ditched her. I’ve always liked Josephine and am glad to know that she had such comfortable digs.
On a recent airy Sunday, I went running church bells ringing, clouds ranging over the Seine. In 15 minutes, I had the grand sampler: Louvre pyramid, Arc de Triomphe, Tour Eiffel, Les Invalides.
I crossed from Left Bank to Right at the Pont Royal, then jogged down the Tuileries. At Place de la Concord, a man who spoke English but sounded Russian asked me the name of the square, then beamed when I told him.
Back on the Left Bank, I found St. Clothilde and its beautiful, quiet, tucked-away square. My Blue Guide later informed me that it’s “uninspired Gothic revival,” built in the mid-19th century. Oh, well, excuse me.
All this, and I arrived home without ever stepping in dog doo, which people don’t bother to pick up here because there’s a fleet of city workers to do it. Still, little surprise piles are everywhere... .