The sun finally came out in Paris this morning, although the temperature dropped ten degrees from the preceding balmy days of rain. The girls took advantage of the blue skies and headed out early to Montmartre, the perfect place to go on a bright Sunday morning. Mark and I decided to go somewhere we had never been before, which turned out to be the neighborhood of Bercy, tucked away south of the Gare de Lyon in the twelfth.
In order to get there, we changed from our local line 9 just a few stops from our house and got on the 14 at Gare Saint Lazare, which was a metro segment we had never traveled. Somewhere along the way we saw this amazing mosaic at the end of a connecting tunnel in the metro.
Surfacing from the metro, we were surprised at how different the neighborhood looked from those in the city. It was spare and modern, with lots of metal and glass, and wide open spaces. It felt really cold and quiet and almost deserted.
Soon enough, however, we reached the Parc de Bercy and at its edge, the interesting Cinématheque Francaise. This building, designed by Gehry, is home to four cinema screens and a cinema library and museum.
The park was pretty and a haven for runners and people subjecting themselves to all kinds of physical torture on this sunny morning.
Another part of the park was home to some gardens that hinted of loveliness in the spring.
A charming collection of small, old warehouses has been transformed into “Bercy Village”, a lane of small shops and restaurants. The warehouses once stored wine imported from the provinces, and you can still see the old train tracks running in between the rows of shops. There was also a huge movie theater at one end of the complex.
No doubt this little area is lively in the warmer months.
We knew that there a very large march was planned (as in a million people or more) this afternoon from Place de la République to Nation. When we got back on the 9 line toward home, we saw metro cars jammed packed with people bundled up and going to République, which is also on the 9. This platform of people were left after a previous train was too full to allow them to get on.
I am now going to turn on the news and watch the coverage of what I pray is a very peaceful and safe march of solidarity and pluralism.
Vive la France.