Bonjour Nos Amis,
We did so much on the 24th that we could hardly fit everything into one Journal so we decided to add this Supplemental.
After our visit to the Fete, where Mitch and Amelie were launched into space, we visited the Promenade Plantee in the 12th arrondissement. Started in 1988 and completed in 1994, it is the first elevated green space in the world and runs 2.9 miles along an abandoned rail line. When we think of Paris we not only think of history and museums but also of green space and parks. Every few blocks one will find some sort of park or square or triangle or parallelogram of green space squeezed impeccably into the space available. Most Paris flats are quite small by American standards, tiny in fact, so Parisians spend much of their time outside, weather allowing, so parks are a large part of their daily lives. Given this, it is not surprising that they envisioned building more green space on the top of this abandoned raised railway line. And build they did. Landscape architect Jacques Vergely and architect Philippe Mathieux designed the parkway and have created what we think is a most unique linear park that snakes through the 12th creating a zen like walk way that provides not only solace from the bustling city streets below but exquisite views of the city and surrounding building. We walked most of the park and I took several pictures of the gardens as well as of some of the wondrously beautiful buildings that flank it along the way. The two shots of the red and orange brick buildings are of the French version of low rent housing complexes. If you Google Promenade Plantee you will find many more photos including the suspension bridge which I could not capture because I was not allowed to hang off the side to get a good shot. Below are a couple of links with more history and photos of the Promenade for you to enjoy.
Now you might ask yourself what did they do with the space below the railway line and that would be a good question to ask. The archways along the street that were originally built to support the train track were enclosed and renamed Viaduc des Arts and is now home to some of the cities most amazing artisans.
Just one more reason that we love this beautiful city.
Also, please note that we are moving the release time of the France Journals. We will now be distributing at the beginning of the day Paris time to take the deadline pressure off our editors in the evenings.
Pericles & Mitch