By the Banks of the Seine

So the plan was to spend two weeks+ in Paris, taking in French-language movies and plays by the score, reading one or more novels each week, generally getting my French fully grooved and normal before starting to work in it as my day to day language for the first time ever. Oh well: with this early departure, most of that’ll be left undone and … I guess I’ll just have to come back on vacation some time! At least I remembered to take my camera out a few times, and despite steadily grey – and often very snowy – skies I did capture a few images I’m willing to share. And thanks to Howard and Gene, I’ve filled my head and soul with wonderful music performances most days I’ve been here, plus quite a few of the museums and sights of the city. Highlight: baroque ballet (Mozart and Gluck) at the Royal Opera within Versailles Palace: excellent production, extraordinary setting in the palace after dark with no regular tourists around, truly a feeling of privilege. As always and ever, thanks to G&H for generosity and scouting/research. 🙂

The Seine, naturally, is central to anyone’s experience of the city, and I’m especially fond of the many statues, gargoyles and other ornaments the adorn the various bridges over the Seine through the city. The above guy sits next to a marker showing the high-water mark of the 1910 floods, in which the river didn’t actually rise above the hastily-heightened levies, but seeped through gutters and sewers and flooded the city indirectly, leaving many streets (and the train tracks at Gare d’Orsay, now a lovely museum) under several feet of water. So many bits of the city’s long history are tucked into corners and side streets and odd places, which is part of the joy of a slow exploration of it, over time. 🙂 Below are more ornaments from bridges, one of two from buildings around Place d’Iena (as seen from the Asian Art Museum) and, for fun, of a Japanese statue mounted on a wall inside the Asian Art Museum.

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