Archive for February 29th, 2012

February 29, 2012

Stories of line 7, Metro de Paris

A It having worked in Paris, and living nearby for 8 years, I am amaze at the number of people coming from places where there is no subway.metro:tube and gladly jump in into the Paris metro and rave about it back home. Like it was a tourist attractions; well I like to tell some historical stories of the Paris metro, (check back in the blog for some other stories written before). I will try to write a bit on each line ,sort of like an historical anecdote rather than photos, maybe one if can find it. The story is the important thing here.

Paris has 14 metro lines so far, and it was not the first one to have one. It all started with the idea of hosting the Universal Expo of 1900, so to be ready work on the metro began in 1897. Tonite I will talk about line 7 of the Metro de Paris.

This line has 18,6 kms, took 70 years to do all stations and is completely underground. It criss cross Paris from north east to south east with 38 stations, the first station was done in 1910 from porte de la villette to Opéra. It has two directional segments at Maison Blanche  and Louis Blanc for line 7bis.

We take our ride at Gare de l’est, emblematic because when I first came to know what is today is my wife, we met here on her way to her home then in Meaux. It was first named Gare de le’Est-Verdun; where it is richly ornated with Verdun and Strasbourg,  main parvis at Rue du 8 mai 1945.  See the nice Couvent des Récollets a convent turn troop station, then hospital ,built in the 17-18C, you enter a courtyard where rue de paradis, then rue de la Fidelité, and out by rue du Désir.at 148 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin. My favorite here is the L’Atmosphere now, at 49 rue des Sampaix,. You come more into central Paris at Pyramides, opened in 1916, after the victory of Napoleon over the mamelouks at Mourad Bey in 1798. The nice Eglise Saint-Roch at 296 rue Saint-Honoré, done in 1655  by Louis XIV and Anne of Austria who put the first stone.It is the parrish of artists where Le Notre, Corneille, and Diderot were enterred. See the wonderful Théatre du Palais Royal where Moliére play from 1662 to 1673, the theater wanted by Richelieu, it has a magnificent stairs done in 1880, at 38 rue de Montpensier. Try a drink or meal at Le Bistrot Saint Honoré next to the marché or market at 10 rue Gomboust.

Moving over the river to Pont-Neuf, opened in 1926 at the foot of the old Samaritaine. It is a like a small museum inside the station. Right at the oldest bridge in Paris done in 1607. But even before in 1578 this site was whre Henri III was in mourning and cry here so the bridge was call the bridge of cries. The bridge eventually became the first bridge without houses on it in Paris. You see the equestrian statue of Henri IV done in 1604 in Italy the statue sank in the mediterranean, rescue, did not arrive in Paris that on 1614 while Henri IV was no longer living. It was destroyed during the French revolution, and brought back in metal by Louis XVIII, during the renovation in 2004 they found 7 cedar boxes in the horses shoes! ,It is at place Pont-Neuf. You,also, see the square du Vert-Galant, name after the lover Henri IV, now it offers a romantic view over the Louvre and the hotel de la monnaie. Another wonderful plaza is Place Dauphine, done in 1584 by Henri III, , in 1601 Henri IV continues the work and name as it is today in honor of the dauphine Louis XIII he in turn gives away the land to the parliament president and 32 houses are built identical in white stone and brick, today if you are careful you can see the two remaining houses angles at the point. Try a drink at Cafe du Pont Neuf,14 quai du Louvre, Kong the wonderful views over paris resto at 1 rue du Pont Neuf, my favorite Au Vieux Comptoir, 17 rue des Lavandiéres, very good ambiance and friendly. And dont forget to take a boat ride with the Bateaux-Vedettes du Pont Neuf at the embarcadere or harbor of square du Vert-Galant.

We arrive at Pont Marie, open in 1926, a bridge to link the rive droite with the ile de Saint Louis;in 1614 and finish in 1635. The place goes back to Louis IX convent of carmelites in 1234!!! It passes later on to the Celestins in 1352!!!. You can see here the Hotel de Sens, home since 1528 to the Cardinal Antoine Duprat, that reunites the council of Sens, in Burgundy. the comdenation of the heresy of Luther and the home of the repuditation of the queen margot.  today its a wonderful library dedicated to the decorative arts. 1 rue du Figuier. The wonderful church of Saint Gervais-Saint Protais, 6C with mirrors of the 15C, it has the oldest organ in Paris dating from 1628, pl Saint-Gervais. You wandered thru and by Ile Saint Louis, it will take pages to describe it, just to tell you its magical. You can see the world and have a glass at Brasserie du Pont Louis-Philippe, 66 quai de l’Hotel de Ville, The memorial of the Shoah, with its wall of names, with 76000 jews who were deported to concenttration camps, at 17 rue Geoffrey l’Asnier. A Tradition to have an ice cream Berthillon , all begain in 1954 at Maison Berthillon, 31 rue Saint Louis-en-l’ile, and the great chocolates at La Charlotte de l’Isle, 24 rue Saint Louis-en-l’ile.

We moved on to Jussieu, an University neighborhood. station opened in 1931. First it was called Jussieu-Halle-aux-Vins, the wine market close during Napoleon it just remained Jussieu. Wine because since 1622 it came to Paris by here from all parts of France. It became an university area as today from 1957 with the tour Zamansky that was finally demolished in 2000. The Jussieu were three brothers, one left for South America,and two others created the gardens of the Jardin des Plantes! this venerable institution is a fun place for all , jardin des plantes, from an idea of Louis XIII in 1633 , open to public since 1640!!! and the naturalhistory museum or Musée National d’histoire since 1793. The parc ecologiques the labyrinthe there since 1640,just wonderful entrance by 57 rue Cuvier, 2 ue Buffon, and 36 rue Geoffrey Saint HIlaire (my favorite entrance), place Valhubert. The unique Institut du Monde Arabe, the history and education of Islam at 1 rue des Fossés-Saint Bernard. Have a glass at the Le Relais Jussieu, 37 rue Linné

Moving right alone to Place Monge,  opened in 1930, the enlargement of line 10. see the magnificent les Arénes de Lutéce, end of 1C AD at a time in Roman period the city was called Lutéce,you reach them byt 49 rue Monge, rue des arénes, or square Capitan.  You can walk the colorful but very touristic in my opinion rue Mouffetard, at the place de la contrescarpe, done in 1852, at No 6 two bulls from 18C shows the vestiges of a meat store, at No 1, frm the middle ages is the cabaret de la pomme de Pin, at No 122 de la rue Mouffetard, the Bonne Source reminds the presence of an old well from the times of Henri IV. At No 134 you see the arabesque vegetables and animals from dating of 17C. When at No 53 the house was demolished they found 3351 pieces of gold done with the image of Louis XV!!! Have a glass at Le Bistrot du Marché, 75bis rue Monge.  you wont go wrong for a good beer and ambiance at the  Le Requin Chagrin, 10 rue Mouffetard. See the Théatre de la Vieille Grille, a wonderful cafe theater with grocery store and wine store at the same time, just lovely at 9 rue Larrey .

Censier-Daubenton, is the next station that from 2010 is under a research green, as the first in the world to be dotted with diodes for lighting. THe station opened in 1930. You see the interesting church Saint Médard, there once a chapel ,destroyed in 1561 during the war of religions, the church took its look from 1784, and during the French revolution here it was done the first sermon under the new constitution ; see it at 141 rue Mouffetard. Come to see the Mosquée de Paris or Paris mosque, began in 1922, its construction rend tribute to the muslim fallen during the WWI conflict; during WWII it helps refuge many jews seeking shelter.see at 2bis place du puits de l’Ermite. Also the synagogue de la rue Vauquelin, at No 10 its the symbol temple of science, at No 15 its the library Siegmund Freud at No 9 the rabbinal school done in 1881, see it all at 9 rue Vauquelin. Have a glass at the Le Comptoir des Arts, 100 rue Monge. see the unique Lépée de bois, 100 rue mouffetard, one of the last halls in Paris showing essai arts. www.cinema-epee-de-bois.fr  For old history have a glass at Le Verre à Pied, since 1914 at 118bis rue Mouffetard. The wonderful Café Léa, 5 rue Claude Bernard, the meeting place in the area and great brunch on Sundays.

We go now to the Les Gobelins, open in 1930 at the corner of arrondissement of Paris 5 and 13. The inmense Manufacture et Galerie des Gobelins, the tapestries of France! Created by Colbert from 1662, today they do it to cover the government buildings of France,see it at 42 avenue des Gobelins. See the unique Chateau de la Reine-Blanche, at 4 rue Gustave Geffroy, built in the 16C leyend has it that here took place the dance or val des Ardents where Charles VI lost his mind for ever. Have a drink at Cafe Canon des Gobelins, 25 avenue des Gobelins. L’Etchegorry is my favorite basque restaurant in Paris, at 41 rue Croulebarbe; before the place was rented to Victor Hugo, and it later was frequented by Chateaubriand, the cabaret de la mere Gregoire.  www.etchegorry.com

Until next time, have a good March,cheers

February 29, 2012

Paris and the Oscar, we won

Well France is in a party mood as The Artist won the Oscar, and now  Jean Dujardin  is all over. This is more remarkable because of a silent movie type. Unbelievable that in these days, a silent movie can win the Oscar, when you consider all the high-tech gadgets around us.

It tells us that there is a genuine desire to go back to gentler times, more humane, and less robotics, for that I welcome the winner as an example for the future. The movie gathered five Oscars all together and a magnificent show of force, persevarance, and great artistic movie making. The Artist will be an icon for years to come.

Just to show some of the areas of Paris that are a favorite hangout of Jean Dujardin according to the Le Figaro.  As a child he spent 10 years in my neighborhood or close by town of Plaisir, where there is now a huge shopping center area, here, he ,also took the first course of impro stand alone comedy at age 16, and frequented the Castle or Château de Plaisir, 282, rue de la Bretechelle, tél.:+33  01 30 54 63 14. the shopping I am talking about is at http://plaisir.centrecommercial-auchan.fr/magasins

He,also enjoy in Paris the Jardin des Plantes at 57 rue Cuvier, and webpage http://www.jardindesplantes.net/ .  He did his debut in 1996 with the Bande du Carré Blanc at the theater-cafe at Le Carré blanc, 44 rue Fontaine ; it closed and now it is rename the  Nous C Nous. His favorite hotel in town was the Park Hyatt Vendome , at 5 rue de la paix, webpage http://paris.vendome.hyatt.fr/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp?null

He enjoy do the jogging in the morning by the quais of the Seine, and enter the church early morning to avoid crowds such as the Cathedral de Notre Dame. He loves to go to the movies at UGC Lyon-Bastille, 12 rue de Lyon, webpage http://www.allocine.fr/seance/salle_gen_csalle=C0146.html  He enjoys eating at Dérriere ,69 rue de Gravilliers, webpage http://derriere-resto.com/restaurant/paris/derriere/

All his professional endeavors are celebrated at Le Bastille, 8 pl de la Bastille, from the time of  his success with OSS117 (seen last nite by the family on TV) . Another where a shot from OSS117 was done with a blanquette dish is the Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes ,106, rue de la Folie Méricourt, tel +33 01 43 57 33 78.  One of my favorite places for theater plays is also one of his favorites places in Paris, Théatre Edouard VII, 10 pl Edouard VII, webpage http://www.theatreedouard7.com/

And on something extra, one of my all time favorite places in Paris since my arrival in the city back in 2003 to live permanently, is L’Alcazar, 62, rue Mazarine, now is the center of the popular TV show in France Top Chef. webpage http://www.alcazar.fr/fr

And, last but not least, in my new area of Vannes, Morbihan, Bretagne, we have a one star Michelin restaurant just crowned after only 10 months open!!! LA Gourmandiére, talk about good, and one reason for me to try it. Here is the webpage in case someone wants to beat me to it.  http://www.la-gourmandiere.fr/restaurant.php

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