Category Archives: Paris maps

Petite Ceinture: Ring around the city

About 10 years ago, Norman and I were staying in part of a converted workshop in a courtyard in the 14th arrondissement. One day, as we walked towards the Porte de Vanves on a Saturday morning to visit the flea market, … Continue reading

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Postcards: Little windows into a vanished Paris

Many of our blogs begin with a postcard. That is not a coincidence. When we are rummaging through the bins of 1- and 2-euro cards at flea markets, we are drawn to images that make us stop and wonder, “What … Continue reading

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Les petits bleus

Elderly guidebooks let you visit Paris in the past. We have three. Two date from 1927 – Muirhead’s Paris and its Environs (Blue Guides), and the Express Guide to Paris and Environs (Publications Anglo-Américaines) – and one from 1950: Nagel’s … Continue reading

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The lost neighbourhood

Last month, I was inspired by one of Lawren Harris’s paintings to investigate gasometers in Toronto and Paris. A second visit to the Lawren Harris exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario evoked another parallel between the two cities: the destruction … Continue reading

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A city built on air

A few years ago, we found this postcard in a street market, showing a sinkhole in the Place Saint-Augustin. What on earth (or under the earth) had happened during the storm of June 15, 1914? We found one account in … Continue reading

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Lutetia, viewed by a 19th-century historian

I have a weakness – no, a fondness – no, a passion for old maps of Paris. On a visit a year or so ago, I bought three old maps from an antiquarian bookseller. During our annual New Year’s tidy-up, … Continue reading

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Death and taxes

Whenever I buy postcards or other pictures of Paris, I gravitate to anything unfamiliar. So when I was leafing through some inexpensive engravings at an antiques fair on the Place St-Sulpice in June, I was immediately drawn to this one. … Continue reading

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A virtual walk through old Paris

In the novel Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, Emma Bovary does something that may sound as familiar to some of you as it does to me. She lives in the countryside, but she wants to be in Paris. So what … Continue reading

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Nine minutes, twenty-one seconds

A recent New York Times article pointed out that the traditional division of Paris into Left Bank / Right Bank might be giving way to a more East-West distinction. (Some people will say that has long been the case.) And … Continue reading

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A la recherche de Paris perdu

I am no great fan of GPS or satnav systems. They convey a false sense of certainty about one’s location (What do you mean this is Montparnasse? It says Montmartre right here!) and are subject to garbage-in-garbage-out problems (if you … Continue reading

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