Marcus Travel Journal
We started our spring travels with time in Paris.
For the past number of years we have been fortunate to obtain an apartment just off rue Montorgueil, which we feel is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in. We like the pedestrian street and it has Metro stops at each end of the street - Line 3 at the top and Les Halles (Line 4) and connections with Châtelet (Lines 1, 4 7, 11 and RER A, B and D).
It was goog to be back in Paris but the city has a slightly different feel. There was a fair amount of construction hoarding up. Landowners were using COVID time to renovated properties. In terms of COVID, the use of maks in public was minimal. I was one of the few that was wearing masks on the Metro.
There seemed to be more homeless on the street and I received a higher amount of "be careful with you camera" warnings than in previous years. By the announcements on the Metro, pick pocketing is running at a high rate. But as I walked along the streets the cafes were crowded with people. Traffic in the department stores was at a high level. Even with the ban on travel from China, there were long lineups to get into the up-scale designed shops in stores like Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
Passage du Grand Cerf
I always enjoy walking the various passages in Paris. I make a point to take this walk through the the beautiful Passage du Grand Cerf. The passage connect the the Montorgueil area with rue Saint-Denis and then just a short walk to Rue de Turbigo and Rue Etienne Marcel (Line 4). The name of the passage is that of the hotel, that closed after the French Revolution, that was on the particular location. For a long period of time the passage, like many in Paris, was neglected, however, luckily better things happened and how th is is one of the best passages in Paris. The glass ceiling, some three floors up, floods the passage with light.
It a relaxing way to spend the evening, sitting on the banks of the Seine.
La Samaritaine has reopened and it is a spectacular experience.
Many years ago we can remember shopping in the La Samaritaine department store. A stunning store in art-deco design. It closed and sat vacant for a number of years but reopedn in 2021 target for "affluent consumers". The store is complete with high end products, restaurants and now even a boutique hotel. The architecture is stunning. Not an affluent I looked forward to seeing the store. No dissapointment.
Bridges and the Seine
Place de la Concorde
I enjoyed getting out in the evenings. Paris is the city of lights, but depending on the time of year, the lights do not come on as soon as you may think. At the end of May, when we were in Paris, street lights and lights on the fontains, bridges, and statues came on around 10 pm. That makes evening photoshoots extend well into the evening.
Cour Napoléon, Louvre, Paris - Fashion Shoot
Paris is a city of fashion/ Typically I can count of some type of fashion shoot at Place Trocadero. This year, when I visited Trocadero, I left within minutes as there was so much construction hording it simply was not the place to be. But I was lucky to catch a fashion shoot at the Cour Napoléon (courtyard of the entrace to the Louvre).
One of my favorite bridges in Paris is the Alexadre III. The bridge connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. The Beaux-Arts style bridge eith Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses was built between 1896 and 1900. It is named after Tsar Alexander III, of the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. His son Nicholas II laid the foundation stone for the bridge in 1896.
I went out onhe evening to capture the lights of the paris river boats that passed under the Pont Alexandre III.
Reconstruction of La Post du Louvre were not complete, and it was neat to be able return to Paris and see such a major rework of the Louvre Post Office Completed.
Mutation is the main idea of the refurbishment and transformation project of the Poste du Louvre by Dominique Perrault Architecture: from a closed industrial building to an open urban complex.
La Poste du Louvre was a stone block, closed on three sides, and open to the public through its single post office, located on Rue du Louvre.Five passageways now converge towards the heart of the block, from the streets of the Louvre, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Etienne Marcel and the Gutenberg passage.
I continued with my visits, at 7:59 am, to the major rail stations of Paris. It was convenient to walk around the Gare de l'Est, the fifth busiest of the six large rail stations in Paris. It opened in 1849 and was doubled in size with a renovation in 1931. From another historical perspective, it was in 1883, from this station, the first Orient Express departed for Instanbul.
Men of Bessines - I was fortunate in timing to be Paris while the work of artist Fabrice Hyber celebrating the 30th anniversary of his installation "L'Homme de Bessines" was underway at the Gardens of the Palais Royale. The 29 green men (and one green woman) stood in one of the fountains of the Palais-Royal. Since his original 1991 exhibit, the artist has deployed several huncred copies in cities in China, Portugal and Shanghai.