We spent the night last night chasing off the vestiges of 2022: drinks, dinner and a craning of necks above the parapet of the left bank near the Pont del la Concorde as, way up there, from the top of the Arc d Triumph the fireworks blossomed as car horns blasted out their welcome to the New Year. So, after a decent sleep in we decided to check out a part of Paris recommended by some other home exchangers and set off to a nearby bus stop opposite the gates of the Jardin du Plantes to catch a Southbound bus.
As in most cities these days it’s a case of tapping on to the bus with our transit cards: the Paris Navigo Carte – then a few stops through the Place d’Italie to alight at Verlaine.
We’re now in a wonderful little village like neighbourhood, the Butte aux Cailles, that is touted by locals as a place not frequented by tourists but with a lovely feel to its narrow streets and bollards along cobblestoned streets to keep the narrow footpaths clear of casually parked cars.
We find a cafe open on this New Year’s Day and make a stop for some coffee and a crepe between us. As the night begins to fall, we wander off down the street to find more sights to make us want to return at another time.
All along the streets is a mixture of street art: poignant messages and catchy pieces of energy frozen in time like Keats’ lovers on a Grecian Urn long ago. Intent may be one thing; interpretation is another and, in between, the power is in the licence given to imagine; and to wander: wondering.
Boats float on walls where there is no chance that this craft will be inspired by its name to descend into an inferno.
Hope for humanity – and joyous celebration.
Joyeuse journee for the non-binary and,
along the street,
a Toastoro Hippocorn.
We’ll be back another day to find where the wild things really are.