Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Running in Vancouver, Dreaming Paris . . . Bridging the Two . . .

It's not looking good for running this week. Ice everywhere, and you know I really don't need another bad fall. But I remembered that on the run that culminated dramatically in my last fall, I'd taken some photos with my cellphone and I'd promised to share them. If I'm restricted in running possibilities for the moment, it's nice to remember some of my favourite routes.

Here is a beautiful little pedestrian bridge that's as much sculpture as infrastructure. It's called The Canoe Bridge, and although my photos don't at all do it justice, perhaps you can put the different angles together with your clever minds' eyes and see the potential. It's a homage to the canoes that have plied (and still do) these waters (False Creek, Vancouver, in this case) since time immemorial, carved out of huge cedar trees by First Nations people, steamed into shape, paddled skilfully through these waters which were forested to their shores.
Above, you can see the Stadium and Yaletown condos across the "Creek" (misnamed by hopeful early explorers, looking for an easy way across the continent). . .

Below, the approach across a plaza marked by maritime elements -- note the giant horn cleat on the right.


















And below, the Olympic village site, those granite steps leading down to the tidal water, in the far background those wonderful giant sparrow statues I showed you a few weeks ago


















As I ran across this little footbridge, I was reminded of my favourite passerelle. . . 



















Do you know the graceful swoops of the Simone de Beauvoir pedestrian bridge?
It's slightly off the tourist paths in Paris, down the Seine in the 13th, just past the Josephine Baker swimming pool (I do love how the French honour their writers, musicians, artists, and intellectuals by naming so many public buildings and places after them).



















Paul and I have walked and run across it a few times





















There's much worth exploring within a ten-minute walk, on the Left Bank in the 13th -- the immense Mitterand Bibliothèque Nationale, for example. The Jardin Botanique isn't far away, nor is the Mosquée, a lovely place to enjoy mint tea on a hot day. . . Or you can walk over through the Parc Bercy to begin discovering the 12th -- We follow this route, sometimes, to work towards the Promenade Plantée or Couléee Verte -- the greened-up former railway that preceded New York's HighLine.

Or just stand in the centre and watch the marine traffic. . . there are even a number of benches on the bridge, so take a book if you want, spend an hour or two.  . . .

Or let's just imagine ourselves, doing just that. . . .

12 comments:

  1. Hi Mater, I'm not commenting much these days - have pulled a muscle in my back and it's pretty sore - so just popping in to say hi. I hope that your own injury is healing nicely.

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    1. Oh, I'm so sorry -- back injuries are so unpleasant. Take care! (and yes, my injury seems to be improving by the day -- the last IMS session really helped!)

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  2. Love the segue from Vancouver to Paris. Two beautiful cities, each unique in culture and location.
    Do you still have snow? None here, but it's chilly.

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    1. Yes we do still have snow, and there's little chance of it disappearing this week, given the freezing temperatures. . . . oh well, it's clear and very pretty!

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  3. Only 7 weeks until I'm back in Paris. I love that walk and always enjoy le Jardin Botanique. Isn't the weather beautiful?

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    1. It is beautiful, although I'm a big baby about the cold! Envious of you, marking the weeks off until your extended stay. . . ;-)

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  4. I need to imagine myself being anywhere else but Canada right now. Or, like Russia, Eastern Europe, Alaska, the cold parts of China. You get my point.

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    1. I do indeed get your point -- I just don't do cold well at all, so you already have my respect and admiration for your fortitude. I think you deserve a tropical break, perhaps the Mediterranean. . .

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  5. Do you know the La Butte aux Cailles neighbourhood on the western edge of the 13th? It is my favourite place-to-dream-of-living in Paris, like a tiny village in the city. I am scowling at the bridge that tripped you.

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    1. Yes! We've been spending time in the Butte aux Cailles each visit, especially since discovering a small teahouse-cum-knitting-shop there, run by the loveliest ex-pat Korean-American . . . l'Oisive Thé It's a great neighbourhood for wandering, a very different vibe that I love. We could be neighbours there, okay? And thanks for the scowl, but my fall was actually about 12 kilometres further on. The bridge is absolved. . . ;-)

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  6. When it's so cold here it's nice to dream of sunny days in Vancouver and Paris - or, how about Brussels?
    Do take care on the ice. A second fall would NOT be good!

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  7. oh, Paris in the summer--feels like another world.

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