An image on the front page of a Spanish newspaper showed the Seine flooding. This prompted a reader planning a Paris visit to inquire about the situation. Looking back at my photos from 2016, I had some evidence of the river a couple of days after its peak. Each year the Seine’s waters rise, usually as snow melts and reservoirs flood. This year, the Seine seems to be flooding a bit early from heavy rains. The last record for flooding was in June 2016. Le Zouave statue on the Pont de l’Alma is one of the gauges used. Legend says: “When the Zouave’s feet are under water, the Seine is flooded”. Authorities predict the Paris portion of the River Seine could reach 6,20 m by Saturday, January 27. The recent Paris Seine record is 2016 at 6,05-6,10 m.
Living in a small neighborhood of the Bastille, the hardest phrases to hear over the last year have been: “We’re closing and retiring” and “They have sold the shop for their retirement”: Holmes, the stationery store, and now à la Petite Fabrique, the chocolate factory. Holmes was transformed into an upscale Italian restaurant and word is that Alain Ducasse is buying the Petite Fabrique…. The neighborhood in the area of Hugo’s Les Miserables and the French Revolution has gone upscale.
To get you into the holiday spirit a special Swedish-style musical event is held in Paris. The event is always held at the Swedish Church (Svenska kyrkan) and most years at a large church in Paris; Paroisse de la Madeleine, Notre-Dame de Paris. The event is a musical Swedish tradition celebrating lightness during the winter darkness.
A chance Estonian Internet encounter in table arts gave me an idea: Visit a professional trade show for the first time. Arro Keraamika arranged a pass for me and off to the exhibition halls in Paris Nord Villepinte I went. Originally my quest was to find all the products Made in France. In eight giant halls that was a bit too overwhelming a task! I changed my focus to tableware that you keep on your wall as art, use it for dining, put it in the dishwasher and then back up on the wall.
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs celebrates the 70th anniversary of the creation of the House of Dior until January 7, 2018 in a lavish and comprehensive exhibition, Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams (Couturier du Rêve). Whether or not you are a fashionista, if you love history, fashion (retro and future), fabric, intricate beading, art, interiors, photography, etc. this is a rich exhibit that I can recommend. The Dior Héritage collection and works of art are on loan from museums in France, United States and England. Most of the works featured in exhibit are from the Dior Héritage collection and the first time they are shown in Paris.
Update for Paris Plages: Clémence from the Seine-Saint-Denis Office of Tourism contacted me with information in English about the Basin de la Villette section of Paris Plages. Paris Plages takes place in two locations every year: along the Seine (Parc Rives de Seine) and in the Bassin de la Vilette. Bassin de la Villette is the new hoping part of town in the northeastern section of Paris.
Paris Plages began July 8 and continues to Sunday September 3. As they say on the Mairie de Paris’ webpage: “What would summer be without Paris Plages”.
For maps of where to go swimming (baignait) what’s happening along the basin and what’s to eat and drink (rafraîchir et grignoter) visit Que Faire à Paris and about river shuttles, “Bals pop” (popular dance balls), etc. along the Ourcq.
When an emergency arises in Paris or you want to report a problem to the police, dial “17”. Today a security guard at the Banque de France helped me after an incident at the BNP Paribas Beaumarchais, Bastille. After speaking with the police on the guard’s phone, I noticed the number on his screen “17”. I will never forget that number and used it about an hour later. By coincidence the same three teenagers who hassled me earlier at the ATM inside the BNP Paribas were leaving the line one metro train the same time as I walked off. I dialed “17”.