Back In Paris

Settling into our apartment in the 16th for the month of May is like being home. Noel and I are in the So West corner of Paris called Auteuil, a village incorporated into Paris in 1860. We are far from the tourists and the center of Paris, in a quiet residential section near Pont Mirabeau, a metro ride away from big city bustle and a half block from the Seine and scenic views of the Eiffel Tower, which include a replica of the Statue of Liberty at Pont Grenelle. Residents and Shopkeepers here actually converse with us in French when we butcher their language and compliment us on speaking so well. Ha!

If you visit, here are a few tidbits to consider:

This Statue of Liberty is a one-fourth scale replica facing west toward NYC. Inaugurated 4 July 1889, it was a gift to Paris from the American community in Paris to commemorate the French Revolution. It originally faced east but was turned around to face west in 1937. Its commemorative plaque honors both the Fourth of July and Bastille Day. It is one of four replicas in Paris. The others are at Luxembourg Gardens, Musee d’Orsay, and Musee des Arts et Metiers. This one is located at the tip of Ile aux Cygnes (Swan Island).

Ile aux Cygnes is an artificial island in the middle of the Seine between  Grenelle and Bir-Hakeim bridges. Created in 1827 to protect the Port of Grenelle, this sliver of an island measures only 36 feet wide. Stretching down its nearly 2800 feet length is the lovely, leafy l’Allée des Cygnes”—a perfect tree-lined path for strolling, jogging, dog walking, or bench sitting and staring out at the Seine without noise pollution.  To get here take the 6 Metro to the elevated Bir-Hakeim station or walk just minutes from the Eiffel Tower (RER C line, Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel stop).

Pont Grenelle is a girder bridge constructed of steel and connects the 15th and 16th arrondissments.

Pont de Bir-Hakim, connecting the Passy neighborhood in the 16th to the 15th, opened in 1906 and was classified as an historic monument. The bridge was initially called Quai de Grenelle but was renamed in 1949 to commemorate a WWII resistance battle fought here. The horse and rider Statue erected here also recognizes the proximity to the Winter Velodrome (Vélodrome d’Hiver), where Jews were first rounded up 1942 for deportation. The Bir-Hakeim Metro Station was originally the site of a tax collection gate in 1784-88. According to Wikipedia the station was also featured in The Last Tango in Paris.


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