Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A HIGH LINE IN PARIS

So there I was in Paris last week, with Ben and two friends from Wales, not at the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, or Notre Dame Cathedral. I had convinced the other three to stroll with me along the Promenade Plantee, a park which claims to be the first in the world on a rehabbed elevated train track. in a formerly seedy section of the city.
Arising from the Bastille metro station and finding the entrance to the Promenade Plantee, we walked up some concrete steps and I found my personal greeting in graffiti. ESP for sure on the left, (my initials) and does that say 'love' behind it?
Not seen in this serene image four loiterers who were not above greeting a woman of a certain age with some crude come-ons, as I had raced up the steps ahead of my companions .
Roses everywhere including the arches covered with canes. Shoulda been here in June.
Just like in New York, many are running or talking on cell phones, ignoring the huge plantings of lavender.

The buildings close by look a little different.
Not every plant is a rose bush, there are lots of large trees that look like they might have been part of the original plantings in 1986.





Visitors are strolling, but at least at 11 am on a Saturday morning, far fewer tourists than on The High Line in New York. Kids are on skates and scooters, not allowed in NYC and I had the feeling from seeing this guy and others that there's less attention to rules and security in general. Buildings that abut the Promenade Plantee are within spitting distance as in NYC, and the whole area has been revitalized by this park, which was opened in 1989. Some of the buildings display a mixture of old and new exterior walls.


We walked about half of the almost 3 mile Promenade because part was closed and John spied a likely looking cafe below on Ave. Daumesnil; I'm always ready to act agreeable where food or drink is concerned.
Missing in Paris is the brilliant diversity of plantings along The High Line in NYC and the inclusion of pieces of the track, railroads ties, and iron walls, all helping the visitor to understand what has been accomplished. But Paris has the pride of being first; future designers could build upon its successes and failures.
Under the walkway, the arcades were also redone and offer space to high-end shops below.



2 comments:

Ellen Zachos said...

It's a lovely park, but I miss the feeling of a rail line.

Plant Lady said...

Thank you for sharing..I loved it!!

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