The Jardin du Luxembourg has its own corner in my heart. I used to live in Montparnasse and crossed this wondrous space several times a week. Today I would walk my old streets en route to the park. I began in the 14th arrondissement at the grand lion of Denfert-Rochereau, designed by August Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty.
I wandered through the Montparnasse cemetery. In its tombstones and grave markers, I read so many stories, scholars and politicians, soldiers who served in distant lands, the women who stayed at home. In all the Paris cemeteries I visited, people of every faith were spending eternity together, including this Vietnamese family.
And this child.
Enjoying a flakey croissant on my old street, rue Delambre, I wandered up to the park. After watching a vicious game of boules, I continued to another Statue of Liberty.
I always visit my lion.
I turned to see the first chestnut blossom. And the Luxembourg palace, now the seat of the French Senate.
Before this trip, I had somehow I had missed the Greek Actor.
I reacquainted myself with the tranquil Medici Fountain.
I discovered a monument dedicated to the student resistors in WWII.
Leaving through the St-Germain gates,
I was certain to encounter some new delights.
It was dusk by the time I passed by another favorite haunt, the Church of St-Sulpice.
The next day, I was drawn back to gritty Belleville, quite the opposite of the chic sixth, but a more vibrant new-old. Street art is something to watch for here!
This is a hilly neighborhood and I visited the Parc de Belleville with its grand panoramic view.
The park was buzzing with life and more art.
Kids congregated in an amphitheater area listening to French rap.
Belleville is a vibrant quartier with such a sense of beginnings. Its streets are filled with Arabs and Asians, its cemetery a quiet mix of every faith. Energetic immigrants live here, not the 1%.
Artists live here too. This work warns, “One must be suspicious of words.” I took this to mean that words can not express everything that matters.
Next stop: Asnières-sur-Oise: The resting place of Vincent Van Gogh.