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Project 365 – Week 17

Now that spring has truly arrived, a massive spring cleaning is required chez nous. Not that we’re normally incredibly messy people, just that we had workmen in for a good few days fixing and repainting the windows. The layers of dust that settled on just about every surface had me cringing silently, so a top-to-bottom cleaning is definitely required. Still, I’m taking a little break to bring you the latest round-up of Project 365.

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Keith Haring

22 Apr: A Keith Haring retrospective is currently running in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. For a week, the métro station of Alma Marceau was transformed into a cultural station, showcasing some posters of this pop-art master, featuring the iconic jelly bean-like figures in striking bold colours or in black and white. This exhibition – themed Political Lines – is on my to-visit list, and if you are in Paris, you shouldn’t miss it either.

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Day 352: Palais de Justice

I could get used to this. The days may be crappy during the week but come weekend, it’s glorious and sunny (still cold though – afterall it is winter). I really have nothing to complain about since this means I could explore the city without looking like a drowned chicken. It’s really only at weekend that I usually try to venture a bit further from my normal haunts.

This weekend however, I’m not exactly skipping along the cobblestones of streets unknown in the 17th or 20th arrondissement. Having the last of Christmas shoppings to complete plus a few meet ups with friends, I’m still wandering about the usual neighbourhood. The Palais de Justice was formally a palace but today a complex that includes the law courts. Sitting tight and looming large over about half of Île de la Cité, it also houses the Conciergerie and Sainte-Chapelle (which in order to visit, one would have to go through security checks that’s similar to that going to the various judiciary offices).

As you may have also noticed, just beyond the Palais de Justice is one of the towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Seriously, Paris of old makes a very compact city when you consider just how close all the important and main sites are centralised. That’s another story for another day. Later.

Day 232: Sunny sunny day

We have a weekend of heatwave upon us. The forecast is for the temperature to hit over 30°C today till Monday, although there’s also a risk of rain tomorrow. It’s like it couldn’t make its minds to stay ensoleillé or not. For now though, I’m going to make the most of the sunny spot that has been missing from the city for a few weeks.

Look, isn’t Paris so beautiful on a day like this? :D

I took this photo from Pont du Caroussel, crossing the River Seine from Louvre to the quarter of St Germain (we were in search for ice-cream and were on our way to Grom). The bridge ahead is Pont des Arts (with hundreds of love locks) and in the background, you should also spot the towers and spire of Notre Dame Cathedral as well as the spire of Sainte Chapelle, both buildings standing on Île de la Cité.

Day 188: Au Vieux Paris

I was crossing Île de la Cité to get to the Left Bank when this sight caught my attention. First of all, yes, it’s very picturesque. However, more strikingly, is that the terrace is empty. Empty! That’s unlike Paris that I’m seeing everywhere, where tourists and locals alike (ok, maybe less locals) jostle for a spot outside, all year round. And Île de la Cité is right smack in the centre of Paris! The signage indicates that this is not a mere café or restaurant, but also a guesthouse (auberge). In fact, it is auberge depuis 1594. Truly befitting the name “At Old Paris” then.

I can only postulate the reasons for it being this quiet: (1) it was closed (but a quick search online says it’s open daily), (2) it was a bit chilly (although not overly so to discourage outdoor coffee intake), (3) it was not yet opened for the evening (it was, afterall, not yet 7pm), (4) they don’t serve just coffee and snack (afterall, it is more of a restaurant), (5) questionable quality (but reviews online had plenty of positive things to say that I’m curious to try it out) and (6) it is not well-known (not everywhere is Le Precope or Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots).

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