Architecture and Design

Architecture and Design, General, Tours and visites, Travel, Travel with Kids, Un peu différent, Walking (tours and promenades)

Canal Saint Martin is a walk in the Park of Paris

Another little surprise, from Parc de Villette, rediscovering Canal St. Martin by walking from Parc de Villette to Bastille. The entire neighborhoods along the way are so lively, especially during the summer months, when Paris Plage is going on.  All of the activities here beat the Paris Plage by the Seine.   Canal St. Martin, is a 4.5 km long and…read more
Architecture and Design, Tours and visites, Un peu différent

Promenade Plantée vs. High Line

Ok.  I thought New York City's High Line was an original.  Then I discovered that idea of elevated linear parks built on old railroad tracks actually originated in Paris in 1988 with the design of the Promenade Plantée, a 2.8-mile-long series of gardens built atop an abandoned railway viaduct in the Right Bank’s 12th Arrondissement, anchored by the Opéra Bastille…read more
Architecture and Design, Travel with Kids

Albert Kahn Museé et Jardin

Albert Kahn, amazing philanthropist and traveler, bought the Boulogne property in 1895 and slowly bought up his neighbours’ lands to the point where, in 1910, he owned an immense plot of nearly four hectares. In the shady avenues, near the Boulogne. The Jardin is a collection of homage to a Japanese garden, an English garden, a temperate forest... it all…read more
Architecture and Design, In the News

Paris Skyline Ready to Tour Montparnasse heights

Hidden in the fine print of all the articles on this however, is that the development will only be allowed to take place in the 13th arrondissment, leaving almost all of what tourists think of as "classic Paris" untouched. ... One of the striking things about Paris is that, for a major city whose metropolitan area includes nearly 12 million people, there are very few buildings more than five or six stories tall. Since 1977, soon after the construction of the 689 foot tall Tour Montparnasse, a building that sticks out like a sore thumb and is widely disliked by Parisians, there has been a height limit of 121 feet on all new buildings. ... But on Tuesday, Le Monde reported, the Paris City Council voted to raise the height limit to a revolutionary 590 feet, meaning that in the next few years, the Paris skyline will have a growth spurt.

Apartment - 39 rue de Vaugirard - short term rental, Apartment neighborhood, Architecture and Design, Tours and visites, Travel, Travel with Kids

Jardin du Luxumbourg named one of the 60 greatest places in the world

Image via Wikipedia I'm consistently awestruck every time we visit our 'Jardin.'  We're so lucky to have le Jardin du Luxumbourg as our backyard.   Even after more than a decade and a half of coming to this lovely city each year, I have always found this park and its gardens magical.  Lately, I've found myself reading more about the planning…read more
Apartment neighborhood, Architecture and Design, Travel with Kids, Understand France and the French

Best parks for Kids in Paris – Jardin du Luxembourg always tops the lists

But day in, day out, except when it rains, they want to go back to "Le Jardin," as everyone, at least in the 6th and 7th, calls it. Aside from being classically beautiful, designed by architect Salomon de Brosse under Marie de Medici's supervision (1615-1627), and a wonderful place for adult pursuits, like making out on the grass, playing tennis, or dozing by the bassin, this place is filled with stuff kids like. ... Paris is a great place to take your children on holiday as there are many tourist attractions, museums and parks in the city that cater to children. ... Jardins du Luxembourg (Rue de Médicis, Rue de Vaugirard) – This garden has a long history, it was established in the 17th century by Marie de Medicis from Italy.

... Take your pick from the attractions below made for the under 10 set: Pony carrousel with "grab the ring" feature Zipline ride Immense play structure and sandboxes (n.b. pay for entry, even for parents) Cotton candy Rental sailboats in the fountain Pony and donkey rides Famous marionette theatre Flying two person swings There is plenty to enjoy here without paying a cent, but go with kids, and expect to shell out plenty of 2 Euro coins to enjoy the full experience.

Architecture and Design, Understand France and the French

Why do we just feel so good when we are in Paris?

Well, that used to be the case, back in the day when people took vacations where no one can reach you and you forget as much as you can about worklife for a week. ... I don't think you can discount the long term effect of the Haussmann reconstruction of this city that made it into a fairly uniform, but beautiful composite that also reflects a golden light that is unique to Paris, at least among large cities. ... We come from San Francisco so we know what natural beauty is, but we're always dismayed by urban San Francisco: the omnipresent work-live lofts which now dominate every neighborhood with an architectural style that no one would ever want to represent their city.

Architecture and Design, In the News, Understand France and the French

Reimagining Paris

Pei Pyramid, the La Defense Arche, the Ministere de la Finance, the Opéra de la Bastille, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Sarkozy is looking even bigger, imagining an entirely new Paris.    One of the first things Sarkozy did after he moved into the Elysée Palace was to convene a meeting of prominent architects and ask them to come up with a new blueprint for Paris...... A formidable list of architects — including Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel, Djamel Klouche and Roland Castro — put forward proposals that address a range of urban problems: from housing the poor to fixing outdated transportation systems to renewing the immigrant suburbs.

...Many of the ideas, thankfully, take "green" to a new level, trading vertical space for more parks and "green belts" to provide the city with more air, produce, and outdoor space.