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The Bold Soul™: A Writer's Life in Paris - 5 new articles
The Saint Michael fountain in the 5th arrondissement is a popular meeting point for a lot of people in Paris, due to its location just at the metro/RER Saint Michel and the big, open place in front of the fountain. But the fountain itself is quite striking, with its pink marble columns and the verdigris of the aging bronze. I've always liked the spitting gryffins. The fountain was a part of the huge city redesign done by Haussmann during the Second Empire. It's seen a lot of fighting, though, starting with the Paris Commune in 1871 and also, during the liberation of Paris: a lot of street fighting between the fleeing Nazis and the French Résistance took place in this area due to its proximity to the Préfecture de Paris just across the bridge.
I have no idea why this perfectly good pair of men's loafers were placed just here next to an empty bench in the Place des Abbesses.
I was walking down the Rue Hautefeuille in the 6th arrondissement yesterday when I stumbled upon one of the few remaining medieval "corner towers" in Paris. I'm told they used to build these so that they could have a wider view in all directions -- in case there was trouble coming down the street. You can see that there are 2 visible windows plus there is actually a 3rd you can't see from this angle. What I loved about this tower was the lovely carved-stone detail work at the base. Let's face it it wouldn't have been structurally necessary to decorate such an exterior feature, but whoever commissioned the work clearly had the money to pay the stonemasons to be creative. Wonder what it looks like inside that little "room" with a view?
The Champs Elysées may be the most famous street in Paris, but it is not the street with the most money being thrown around. That honor probably goes to the Avenue Montaigne, where you can find many of the major haute couture houses as well as the Plaza Athenée which is the most expensive hotel in Paris. I've not yet ever had the nerve (or been dressed well enough) to go into the lobby or bars of the Plaza Athenée, but I've always loved the exterior with all the flower boxes hanging from every window: The hotel just reopened recently after a year-long luxury renovation. Although Avenue Montaigne is known by women for all the couture houses, I just recently realized there is something on this street that would interest a lot of men: the luxury cars that are parked just in front of the entrance to the Plaza Athenée....