Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Curious Confluence: Chapter Seven–Just Kind of Living Here

Yesterday was a day of discovery. The fact that Paris is a series of wedges formed by streets all heading to several common confluences with important interstitial streets webbing them together came into play for me yet again.

I like to go to the Marais. I like it for several reasons, the two most dominant being that I love the medieval feel of the place, especially at night, and I really like the falafel sandwiches at Chez Marianne on Rue des Rosiers (one of those interstices between the wedges). I have never been exactly clear where Rue des Rosiers is or how to get there. I have on numerous occasions, studied the map to the point of blindness and have not improved my ease of getting there. The actual act of going to Chez Marianne, therefore, has always been a sort of hopeful flinging of myself in the general direction of Place de la République and looking for a building with a mosaic of a horse on its exterior. If and when I see that horse I can generally find my way. (The horse mosaic is quite old and has nothing to do with whatever it is that they do in that building in today's world; in a previous time it marked the place as a market for horse meat.)

Yesterday all of that – my never being able to easily find Rue des Rosiers - may have changed.

For no apparent reason I decided to cross to the mainland via Pont Louis Philippe.

So I crossed Pont Louis Philippe. Once on the right bank I was, to no surprise of mine, on Rue Louis Philippe. I was beginning to notice a certain atypical –for Paris - symmetry in naming conventions. I pressed on because one of the objectives of the walk was to see if I could find a better grocery than the one I have so far been able to find in my new quartier. Then the significant thing happened. Rue Louis Philippe had changed to Rue Vieux du Temple which is the street that I always set out to find when I flail around looking for the horse mosaic. Rue Vieux de Temple is the street with which Rue des Rosiers webs.

There was Les Philosophes right where it always is, and close beyond was Rue des Rosiers. I not only now knew how to get there, but I had cut the transit time by about three quarters. What a windfall, if only I can remember what I discovered.

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