10 years ago - I had just started blogging (yes, 10 years!!) - I left the below message to say that I left for my birth-town for a couple of days to celebrate the 45 years years since I passed my "baccaluréat". Now it's time again for the 55 years (there was a 50-years celebration in the meantime, see further below). I took a new selfie, still with the stupid cap. (Yes, there will be a short while without new posts.)

This is what the already old gentlemen looked like 5 years ago.


More from the 14th arrondissement...

Once I was at Rue des Thermopyles (see previous post), I continued the walk in the area and discovered some other little streets and alleys. Here is one example, “Impasse du Moulin Vert” - I suppose there must have been a green windmill around… Not anymore, just another little street where you still feel some countryside atmosphere, cobblestones, wisterias… .   (One of the buildings is where Patrick Dewaere lived … and left us too early.)

However, someone decided a few decades ago to replace a large part of one side of the street with a neutral, dull, apartment building, meaning that there is a clear contrast between one side of the street and the other side. I doubt that such a decision would have been taken today. 

There are some other charming buildings – and wisterias - in the neighbourhood. 


Rue des Thermopyles

The more you walk around the 14th arrondissement, the more you discover some really charming streets, narrow alleys… Here is another one with the name Rue des Thermopyles. The name of the street is a bit surprising, it refers to a coastal passage in Greece, Thermopylae, where a number of battles have taken place,

…. the most famous obviously between the Greek / Spartan and Persian forces in 480 BC (illustrated by Jacques-Louis David in 1814) and the – hopefully – last one in 1941 between Greek and German forces. 

There is actually not much else to say about the street – I found no names of famous inhabitants… you can just enjoy the atmosphere and right now especially the wisterias.

The street ends with a little “jardin partagé” (garden shared by the inhabitants)… and some street art.

The famous personality I was looking for can be found in the prolongation of the street, the Square Alberto-Giacometti… and the nearby address where this artist had his studio for 40 years, from 1926 until his death in 1966, at no. 46, rue Hippolyte-Mandron. Picasso, Braque… and especially Samuel Beckett were frequent visitors. 


No cars anymore...

The Seine banks are more and more given back to pedestrians, bikers…  Since a number of years, a large part of the right bank has been closed to car traffic during some summer weeks, “Paris Plages”. Instead of allowing the cars back by the end of last summer, it was decided to maintain a large part of the right river bank car-free, forever (?).  Not everybody is satisfied with this decision which has created some traffic jams elsewhere, but personally I’m happy – I have no car! I think rather that the ”wrong decision” was taken in the 1960’s, when the river banks were opened for traffic. There are now plans to make the banks even more attractive. Let’s see. (If you want to see some of my older posts about the Seine banks, you can click here, here and here.) 


Street art again (and again)...

The wall on this building, Quai de Valmy, along the Canal Saint Martin, has been used for street art for a number of years. 
After the tragic Paris 2015 events, the wall was for quite some time covered with this simple “Fluctuat nec mergitur” - “Tossed by the waves but never sunk”, the Paris motto since 1358. (See previous posts here and here.)

The wall is now since a while back in “normal street art use”.  The present, enormous, complete wall decoration – for how long? – is by Da Cruz. A great traveler with artwork left a bit everywhere in the world, Da Cruz is really a local artist, as I understand born and living close to the Canal. You can read more about him here, here, here and here.

Otherwise there is not too much street art along the Canal, rather a bit of tagging and some camouflage, hiding blind walls…