The D&O Diary’s European assignment last week concluded with a weekend stopover in Paris. With the warm, sunny weather that prevailed, the visit to Paris was every bit as wonderful as you might suppose. In addition to the obvious draw of visiting Paris in July, another reason for the visit was to check in on an old friend who has been going through some tough times lately.
The amount of damage from the April fire is still shocking, but there has been a lot of progress since I last visited Notre-Dame de Paris in early May. There is a massive network of scaffolding surrounding the central nave and cranes are busy putting supporting and replacement structures in place.
In this more detailed picture, some of the repair efforts underway are more visible. You can see the wooden braces that have been put in place to reinforce the buttresses and you can also see that the stained glass windows have been removed for safe keeping during the construction.
If you happen to find yourself in Paris on a hot day in July (high temps in the 90s), I recommend visiting the Petit Palais, an art museum near the Tuileries Garden housed in one of the buildings constructed for the 1900 Exposition Universelle. The gallery is quiet and miraculously well air-conditioned. There are some interesting things there as well. For example, thisis a picture of a cast of the statue La Défense de Paris by Louis-Ernest Barrias, designed in honor of the victims of the 1870 siege of Paris. The statute gave its name to the Parisian district known as La Défense. It was worth it going indoors to flee the heat, just to learn this fact.
As far as places to have a picnic, it would be pretty hard to beat the lawn at the Jardin du Luxembourg on a warm July evening.
Waaaay off of the tourist grid at the Parc des Butte Chaumont, in the 19e arrondissement in the far northeastern part of Paris. The picture shows the Temple de la Sibylle on the Île du Belvédère in the center of the lac des Buttes-Chaumont.
A view of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica from the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
A view of a part of the Paris Plages, the summer-time riverside installation and event the city of Paris hosts along the banks of the Seine. About as pleasant of a thing to do and enjoy on a warm summer day as there is anywhere.
In the Jardin des Plantes, Paris. It really was a beautiful time of the year to be in the city.
Paris is always beautiful.