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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Paris Pulchritude and the Promenade Plantee

Before Flame-Haired Angel left for Oz, we spent a blissful last weekend together -- almost uninterrupted by preparations for the largest merger in my industry's history -- celebrating our romance, and celebrating Paris. We walked from our apartment to the Eiffel Tower. We shopped at the famous street market around the corner where the cheesemonger flirts with her and gives us freebies. We ate at a traditional bistro where we ate rich rabbit dishes and drank Burgundy. And, most memorable of all, we finally, after almost three years, took our first walk on the Promenade Plantee.

The Promenade is, in a city full of famous sights, one of its least celebrated wonders. A railway running across half the city ceased operation in 1969, leaving behind an unused viaduct and causeway crossing south-eastern Paris for more than four kilometers. In most other cities, the land would simply have been sold off after the trains stopped running. In Paris, they hired a landscape architect, and turned it into a four and a half kilometer garden path.

A city park is lovely enough, offering escape within chaos, as it does. A garden, in and of itself, is lovely. A scenic walk through one of the world's most picturesque cities is lovely. But this is something else, again.

Anyone who has seen Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy stroll through the twilight in Before Sunset has seen them do something seemingly impossible: walk upstairs, far above ground level, and into a garden. They are on the Promenade Plantee, walking in flowers four stories above the street. What you don't see in the calm tracking shots through the foliage are the beautiful 19th Century brick arches, once the support for steam locomotives, on which the garden is planted.

Flame-Haired Angel and I strolled, holding hands, inhaling the jasmine, and looking through the fourth-floor windows of 12th arrondissement Parisians.

The next time you're in Paris, and you want to do something off the beaten tourist track, something even the locals don't think much about, pick a sunny day, put on your walking shoes, and go upstairs.


Comments on "Paris Pulchritude and the Promenade Plantee"


Anonymous FHA said ... (3:04 AM) : 

I love you, My Pirate.


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