notes from an urban hibernation

Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn

Crossing Pont Mirabeau


Saturday’s walk from Porte d’Orleans (no.6) was a good one.  All of the walks are good. All good. All different. All full of things to see and to think  about.   We detoured a little to take in the Rue Daguerre which was the street where Agnés Varda lived (and maybe still lives?) and about which she made her film Daguerréotypes.  The street has, of course, changed enormously since the seventies.  Still, it was pleasant to walk along the street and to retrospectively enjoy her documentation of time and place. As part of the days journey, we met friends to hear choral music by Thomas Tallis performed at the church of St.Germain de Prés.  After the concert, we went to the far end of the church to view one of Muriel P. Engelhart’s  carvings.  It was not an angel but a saint. Then we continued on our way.


Sunday, we planned in another music stop, so we started our walk from the Porte St. Cloud (No.7) . A lot of the walking was through quiet streets with the look of comfortable lives.  People were eating lunch in big old fashioned restaurants.  An enormous morning market was being packed up and city workers were waiting around the edges to do the sweeping and street cleaning.  Elderly women and men were searching on the edges of the area for pieces of usable fruit and vegetables.  Even those hunting for food were well presented.

So many streets are named after people and sometimes I know who the streets are named after, but most times I do not.  There is usually a small line of text which tells something about the person and the dates.  There are streets named after sculptors, writers and members of the Resistance.  There are streets named after politicians, typesetters, scientists, and people who started music schools.  One street gave a name and said it was a family of Dutch painters.  A whole family, all painters, and I do not know one of them. Fantin Latour has a library named for him.

We broke our journey at the Eglise St.Christophe de Javel which is an exceedingly ugly church made of cast concrete and far too many patterned effects.  The acoustics were superb.  The church was packed with people.  We listened to the very fine orchestra performing Brahams’ Concerto pour Violin and Debussy’s La Mer.  The walk home was much longer than I would have liked.  EVH

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This entry was posted on January 21, 2014 by .
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