Bridges of Paris

I’m always very excited when I get to review a book and such was the case when I found the very beautiful book, Bridges of Paris, being delivered to my door. Like most people who know Paris, I love the bridges that cross the Seine. They add so much to the feel and look of Paris. I don’t think I am familiar with the bridges on the outskirts of Paris although I’m sure I have passed them all at one time or another. They can’t compare with the bridges of central Paris, so beautiful and unique. I think the fact that the Seine is a wide river helps too as we noted when we were in Dublin. The bridges there were more workaday too without that elegance and sophistication found in Paris. I loved looking though Bridges of Paris, at the stunning photograpy as well as the history of each bridge.
The author, Michael Saint James, a Californian, lived in Paris for a year going out each day visiting a bridge, rain or shine, in each season to find the best light and view. There are thirty seven bridges crssing the Seine and the author says he is reluctant to name a favorite but finally settles on the Petit Pont which sits on the site of the first bridge in Paris. It’s tiny but timeless.

The cover of the book.

Here’s a lovely photo of Pont Mirabeau. I remember the first time that I saw it I wondered why it wasn’t more famous as it is really lovely. One reason, of course, is that it isn’t central but a downstream bridge. Michael gives the interesting history of the bridge including information on a plaque found on the bridge with the first stanza of a well known French poem by Apollinaire named Le Pont Mirabeau. The plaque was pointed out to the author by a charming lady who crossed the bridge every day and who was proud to point it out to him.
So if you are a lover of all things Parisian or know someone who is, this would be a perfect gift, a coffee table book to grace your life. It’s full of history and interesting facts-I love things like that-and the photography is just stunning.

Canal Saint Martin

Here it is, January 1st, 2014. My 2013 sure went by quickly. I’m here at the home of my son in Switzerland where we “rang in the New Year”. Here is a post that I put together a couple of weeks ago:

The new hot area to either live in or just visit for a walk along the water, a cup of coffee or a meal is that around the Canal Saint Martin. On a pretty Sunday afternoon Maurice and I ventured out to explore a bit.

Photogenic bridges arch over the canal. If you haven’t seen the French movie Amelie, do so. One of these bridges is in the movie and you get a look at a lot of other places in Paris.

A look from a bridge down the canal.

The other direction as it curves away.

It’s always fun to watch a boat move through the locks.

Many cafes and coffee places abound. Most of them sell vegan or vegetarian fare.

Cute window of a toy store.

It was a little chilly so Maurice and I stopped for hot chocolate.