Paris Time Patrol Number Trois

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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.

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Fifty years later, from roughly the same perspective: the Louvre to the Left, Notre-Dame (way back) in the centre, Orsay to the right.

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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.

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The Louvre, 2014, taken from the left bank.

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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.

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Notre-Dame, 2014. As seen from l’Île Saint-Louis.

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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.)

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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.

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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. 😉

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Back to 1964*. The Abbey of Saint-Germain des prés. This could be a shot from a Godard or Truffaut film.

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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.

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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.

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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.





38 thoughts on “Paris Time Patrol Number Trois

  1. Things change, thank you for taking on this journey through time in the city of lights. It remains beautiful! 🙂

    • You will see in futute posts how they have disfigured the Louvre with stupid pyramid. Bacon? A joke with another friend, since I had mentioned that the time-space shuttle was an engineer’s nightmarish cross between a scanner an electric oven… bad joke, when you need to explain it. 😉
      Have a nice week-end.

      • actually I pretty much understood the joke but was considering, if I were to have first class tickets on the way-back machine, if I wanted to cancel, as I do not have any desire to be known as bacon, especially extra crispy bacon. 😀

      • Never been to Paris. Visited Toulouse and a few places further south when I was a teenager, but I am sure these places have also changed since 1865 …. I am not as young as I once was!

      • It was ’73: I actually stayed in a small town near Castres called Labrugiere, so my experience of Toulouse per se was quite brief!
        I only have vague memories of driving out of the airport and then past the city on to Castres and then Labrugiere.

      • Indeed. It was all berets, bicycles and baguettes.
        The family I stayed with were quite possibly the only ones who were still not part of Le Resistance!
        The dad was the manager of a paper factory there, if memory serves, and their home was brand new on an acre plot on the outskirts of the town. It was bordered by ditches on three sides and I remember one evening we all went out with torches to look for les escargots!
        We found loads.
        Odd how memories one hasn’t bothered to recall in maybe a decade or more float to the surface!
        Watch Out! We are about to get mugged down Memory Lane … 🙂

      • And then you have to “store” the escargots in a bucket for 24 hours to allow them to “evacuate” the spittle… Memory Lane indeed. There is a book by Paul Ricoeur called: “Memory, History, Oblivion”. Our memories are already History. Soon to turn into Oblivion. 🙂 Be good.

  2. Smooth sailing this time, I can confirm my bacon is still intact. 😀
    Not many differences apart from switching from b/w to color pictures. 🙂
    Maybe I’m wrong but the woman to the left at “aux deux magots” looks like a known actress whose name slips my mind right now.

    A fine weekend for you too, hope you got rid of the darn flu already! 😉

    • Thanks for the flu. Almost under control. You have quite an eye. I’ve long suspected that lady to be Leslie Caron. Or here twin sister. It would be impossible now with all the rights and copyrights issues, but back then it could well have been her. Who knows?

      • You need some strong spirits, like our ‘palinca’ to take the flu out of your system. 🙂

        That woman doesn’t quite look like Leslie to me but I just can’t remember the name for the face that’s buzzing in my head. I know it can’t be her – at least I think so – but it’s an extremely close resemblance. This is gonna haunt me for a looooong time. 🙂

      • Bear with me, please: could that be Shirley MacLaine?
        Quote from IMDb:

        In her book, “My Lucky Stars”, MacLaine wrote that before production on My Geisha (1962) began, Yves Montand bet her husband, Steve Parker, that he could seduce her. Parker, whom MacLaine learned later, was having an affair at the time, took Montand up on the bet; Montand won.

        The time period is quite close and her connection to France is at least theoretically proven by the above quote. So… what if…? 🙂

        As for the palinca, I wish I had a bottle of that heavenly stuff! 😀 But I’m not selfish, I’d share it with you. Well, a short visit to the northwestern side of the country could yield lots of that fire-water. But can you hold your liquor…? 😛 😀

  3. Pingback: Day 2 in Paris: Mona Lisa’s Smile – Precious Jewels

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