Our gallant team of Time-Space explorers have gone back to 1964 Paris. A view to the East*, possibly from the Pont de la Concorde. On the left: the Right Bank. Perfect French logic, the sides are determined looking at the Seine from East to West, following the flow of the river. Thus, the North bank is the right bank, the south bank is the left bank. Easy. The building on the left is the Louvre. Notre-Dame is in the centre. To the right, on the left bank, is the railway station of Orsay, not a museum yet, by far. The rectangular structure floating on the Seine to the right was the Deligny swimming pool. A major Paris attraction until it sank in the 90’s.
Fifty years later, from roughly the same perspective: the Louvre to the Left, Notre-Dame (way back) in the centre, Orsay to the right.
Orsay, from the Pont de Solférino, a boardwalk. c.2014. There is still a small margin of error in time, as Chief engineer Scotty has not yet solved the interferences between the Time-scanner, the micro-wave oven and the electric toaster. At least, we’re happy to report that no more passengers have been turned into bacon since our last flight.
The Louvre, 2014, taken from the left bank.
The Seine*, 1964, near la Tour d’Argent, one of Paris most expensive restaurants. I’m sorry to say that those quaint little boats in the foreground are no longer present.
Notre-Dame, 2014. As seen from l’Île Saint-Louis.
2014. A péniche on the Seine, by the Pont de la Concorde. Top left: the Palais-Bourbon, home to the National Assembly. (I don’t even want to think what morons will sit there after the next general election.)
1964. A view of the Seine*. I would suspect this is taken from the Quai de la Tournelle, with the Île Saint-Louis to the right, and the Saint-Louis bridge to the left.
Aux deux-magots*, Saint-Germain, 1964. I will not use the words “iconic” or “cult” or “loaded with history”. It is just your average café. Still looks exactly the same. Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir had their table there. When I was a student in the Latin Quarter, I may have gone once. No big deal. Neither Sartre nor Simone de Beauvoir were there. I had a coffee at the counter, and that was it. A Paris tip: always take your coffee at the counter. Much cheaper and much more fun.
Our time-travel crew has no photo of Les deux-magots today. Nor of the Café de Flore next door. A much more interesting place is the librairie (French for bookstore, shows how words change meaning from language to language.) a few yards to the left. It’s called: “L’écume des pages”, The foam of pages, a direct reference to Boris Vian’s magnificent “L’écume des jours”. The english title is “Froth on a daydream.” I would have translated it a tad differently. 😉
Back to 1964*. The Abbey of Saint-Germain des prés. This could be a shot from a Godard or Truffaut film.
2016. To the left of the Abbey of Saint-Germain is a small square. A street exhibition was on. Set up by a new bookstore that has just opened at the corner of the Place Saint-Germain and Rue Bonaparte. Allow me to salute the courage of those who open a bookstore these days. It is a very good one, with art books, photography. They had an exhibition on by a photographer named Jimmy Nelson, who photographs the last remnants of tradition still alive on our planet. The above: a young Maori woman, New Zealand. I very much doubt that she goes to the supermarket dressed like that. Still is a lovely photograph.
Same time-space slot, Saint-Germain des prés, 2016. A Papua New Guinea gentleman, by Jimmy Nelson. “La hune” is a small platform on the foremast of the old sailing ships. It may also refer to the topsail on the foremast. A lovely word that smells of salt, sea and adventure in far-away seas.
The abbey of Saint-Germain today. Compare with the above. Just the same. A bit cleaner.
1964 images come from “The Paris I love”, printed on the 15th on May 1964. (c) by Editions sun Paris. World rights reserved. Printed in France by Draeger and Braun. Photographs (marked with a *) by Patrice Molinard. La Hune photos (c) Jimmy Nelson. The recent ones are mine.
Thank you for flying Equinoxio Time-Space shuttle. Have a lovely week-end.