Tag Archives: les Halles

Vespasiennes: Does a Roman Emperor Deserve This?

Our home offices are in two adjacent rooms. While exploring one of my favourite Paris websites, Paris en Images, I called to Philippa, “What’s a Vespasienne?” and was instantly told, “A public urinal.” There had to be a blog in … Continue reading

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Eking out a living on the streets of Paris

Paris has a reputation as a city of glitz and glamour. But in the early 20th century, beneath the glamour, many barely survived from day to day. In London, journalist and reformer Henry Mayhew had written a multi-volume study, London … Continue reading

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The once and future Paris transport museum

The huge Maison de la RATP on the quai de la Rapée has a sweeping view of the Seine and an impressive central atrium in which are positioned a few examples of historic trams and omnibuses. What it does not … Continue reading

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Baltard’s Children

It is common among Parisians and lovers of Paris to bewail the loss of the nineteenth-century market buildings at Les Halles. Those pavilions of iron, wood and glass designed by Victor Baltard stood in the heart of the city from … Continue reading

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In Search of Lost Time

You don’t really need a wristwatch in Paris. For one thing, you are never far from a clock – on walls, towers, and in front of boutiques. Some are ornate. Some are utilitarian. Some are advertisements. Some are art. Of … 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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