Archive for March 6th, 2012

March 6, 2012

Stories of Line 9, Metro de Paris

After 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 9 of the Metro de Paris.

It is 19,6 kms long, coming from the bourgeoises of the south west of Paris to the working class of the east of Montreuil. The first track was opened in 1922 from Exelmans to Trocadéro; interesting under the pont de l’Alma there is 14 meters deep of tunnels. This line of my favorites of course, its also the history of France! On April 4, 1943 the factory yards of Renault were destroyed by the English, even if the damage was big, the work of repairs took only five days!

We start our ride at the nice Porte de Saint-Cloud, it is unique that it has four lanes, full when matches at the parc des princes stadium, all right around the old village of Auteuil, where great wines were once made and the great Moliére,Racine, and Boileau tasted them. Where Chateaubriand,the Goncourt and Proust spent their time, the village was annexed to Paris in 1860.  The workers at the end of the 19c were house here in three villas, Dietz-Monnin, Emile Meyer,and Cheysson. You can see them along rue Parent-de-Rosan. The football/soccer stadium Parc des Princes is here, but before it was a hunting ground of the kings, and from 1841 with a building and garden it care for the rich . IN 1897 a velodrome was built,and host in 1903 the first arrivals of the Tour de France bicycle race. In 1972 the stadium we see today was 24 rue du commandant Guilbaud.  Some great place tohave  a drink or eat at Brussel’s Cafe,71 bd Exelmans,Cafe Edouard,78 ave Edouard Vaillant (boulogne-billancourt), and Le Cardinal,5 pl de la porte de saint cloud.

You now come to my most favorite area in Paris, so far a secret ,almost but from the travel forum I am, maybe it will be touristic one day, still its sublime Paris at its best. La Muette, is what I am talking about. The name Muette is still not fix as its origins, it is reference to the Chateau de la Muette,or the muets a gang of dogs used for the hunt at the bois de boulogne, or the house of hunting of Charles IX; its still mystically magical. You see the museum house Maison de Balzac, 47 rue Raynouard,he lived there under a false name of Bruegnol, it is here that he writes his monumental work The humain comedy or better La Comédie Humaine. Get your lotto ticket and a hot coffee at Tabac de la Muette Bongrand, 6 Chaussée de la Muette. See the wonderful Théatre du Ranelagh, 5 rue des Vignes, open in 1900, it became a cinema of arts in 1931, today it showcase new talent; ; have a nice coffee break at Café l’Amadeus, 54bis avenue Mozart. Do great shopping at the Galerie Commerciale Passy Plazza by 53 rue de Passy, 26 boutiques a la française. And see the best restaurant in Paris, La Gare my all time favorite at 19 Chaussée de la Muette

You go on to Iéna, opened in 1923, named after Napoleon victory over the Prussian on this town in 1806. You see here the new great Musée du quai Branly, 37 quai Branly, the Africa,Asia,Oceania,and the Americas showcase. Also the Musée Guimet, 6 place Iéna, opened in 1889,Asian arts at its best. You have a drink at Au Bon accueil, 12 rue Longchamp. See more the museum of fashion, Palais Gailliera, musée de la mode,open as a palace in 1894, recently reopen with 90 000 pieces of fashion. The Baccarat, enough said.11 place des Etats Unis. We continue to Alma-Marceau, named after a French victory in Crimea in 1854,celebrated here by Napoleon III. When you go out of the metro you see Flamme de la liberté, gift of the internationalherald tribune to France a replica of that which is on top of the Statue of LIberty this that was a gift of France to the USA. He has the sad memory of been the place where Princess Diana died in an auto accident in 1997. You see ,also, the wonderful Pont de l’Alma, built in 1854 by Napoleon III celebration of this victory. Here you ,also ,have the zouave that marks the level of water of the Seine, if he has the feet in the water the Seine is flooded ,the worst took place in 1910 when the water reach the shoulders. The théatre des Champs-Elysées, 15 avenue Montaigne, built in 1913, a gorgeous view from the roofstop.See the wonderful Palais de Tokyo, 13 avenue du Président Wilson, built in 1937,the comtemporary exhibits are done here since 2002. Some places chic to play and eat here are Le Baron,6 avenue Marceau, very hip branché, chic, dress tokill, Le Crazy Horse, 12 avenue George V, you know it since 1951.La Fermette Marbeuf, 5 rue Marbeuf, decoration 1900, food inheaven.

We reach Franklin D Rooselvelt, In 1942 the line was named Marbeuf Rond Point des Champs Elysées but WWII made it change the name after the US PResident, the liberator in 1946. See the super chic Avenue MOntaigne, with the Plaza Athénée hotel, open in 1911, the quartier François Ier or district of François Ier the first building to see the light in 1823 nice from avenue Franklin Rooselvelt to avenue George V. Go shopping at 66 ave Champs-Elysées, the wonderful resto Le Boeuf sur le toit,34 rue du Colisée, or have a late coffee at Le Madrigal, 32 ave Champs-Elysées.  We move over to Saint-Augustin, opened in 1923, link to the Gare St Lazare, see the wonderful church or église Saint Augustin, 8 ave César Caire, done in 1861 first to be done in metal and glass with a dome of 50 meters in the old district of Little Poland.  See the wonderful architecture of the Cercle national des armées, at 8 pl Saint Augustin, done in 1928 to welcome the officers of the French armed forces. Have a beer or snacks at L’Evasion, 7 pl Saint Augustin,  great views over the plaza.  Continue at Chaussées d’Anton-La Fayette, opened in 1910, the house at no 18-22 in 1977 it was discovered 21 heads of the kings of juda, taken fromthe front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in 1799! The rest is in honor of Lafayette the French who help the American independance. See the world famous nightclub L’Olympia, , and one of my favorites the Théatre Edouard VII,  the most French of English kings, and who love Paris. See the wonderful Le Grand Café des Capucines, 4 blvd des Capucines,and of course the Grands magasin, Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.

We arrive at Charonne, opened in 1933, takes its name from the abbey of Saint Magliore by the king Robert II le Pieux in 1008AD. See the mansion or hotel Montagne at 53 rue de Charonne, done in 1660, and it was here in 1746, was born the conservatoire national des arts et métiers. See the wonderful architecture at the Palais de la Femme-Fondation de l’Armée du salut. From 1926 took refuge of young women,now its the Salvation Army of France. It is said that here was buried Cyrano de Bergerac….Have a drink at the L’Armagnac Café, 104 rue de Charonne.

A great line indeed, cheers

March 6, 2012

Some foggy day in Auray

Well it was foggy, eerie even, sort of the kind of nights you wish you be out with a nice lady, well poor me, but not so bad I went out with my boys, we had our usual meal, and then walk a bit around our city at night, when all souls go to sleep early.

Its the biggest change from Versailles, here most closed by 19h some supermarkets to 21h, and the roads are empty, no need to walk in city center, all is closed. So going out is to eat at a creperie or resto or stay home during the week; waiting for the elusive weekend. At least my house is under contract in Versailles so soon the whole family will be here, including my women lol!

And of course the place to be in Auray is at Saint Goustan, we all the renovation construction going on, its still the place to be at night. The place will be superb if the look at the stones they are using will give the same final look. Very nice indeed.

Some outside information on this wonderful river ria port of Saint Goustan, already famous from middle ages, and the place where Benjamin Franklin landed in 1776 to ask help for a new nation the USA to France the world power at the time.

In English although the French version offers more info.

in French with pictures of businesses and info;

The official site of the city of Auray, with info on St Goustan,in French

The official site of the region of Brittany, in English,

Well you get the idea,its a wonderful new place, still discovering new things, like today,went to pick up my pants, lol!!! somehow bought a size too large, I am getting in shape too::::) well the lady was sick closed shop open again thursday ,another trip to city center or downtown…Now home waiting for pizza delivery and grimbergen beer, anyone? Cheers




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