Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (a tip of the hat to my old friend, Mr. Rogers)

Camille and his happy little family lived in the Cour du Commerce close to their friends Gabrielle and George-Jacques Danton.  I tracked down the neighborhood on my last trip to Paris and even though their particular apartments were destroyed, as part of the Haussman plan, and the corridor on which they lived, abbreviated, seeing it was one of the absolute highlights.  I went at least three times and it's now joined the Conciergerie as the place I'll always go on the last day of a visit.

I took this picture from the base of the huge statue of Danton that sits on the median in the middle of Boulevard Saint-Germain.  The archway marking the entrance to the Cour du Commerce has been moved from its original location which was at about the spot I was standing.  The Danton and Desmoulins families lived in the section of the neighborhood between where I took the picture and where the entrance was moved and stands now.  If that makes sense.  To the right of where I stood was Marat's home, also now destroyed.  (A building that belongs to the medical school stands on the site of Marat's home.  When I was there, construction workers were digging and I desperately wanted to help them dig in hopes of discovering some long-buried artifact.)

I crossed the street, passed through that historic entry and onto the cobblestone streets once trod by so many people I almost consider friends.  (They may as well be friends.  I damn sure think about them enough.)  It took my breath away.

No comments: