Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sundays on the Seine

On Sunday afternoons the road which runs at river level along the right bank of the Seine is closed to traffic and opened to bicycles and roller-skates. We rented bikes from the awesome Vélib public bike-rental automats and noodled along under the Seine bridges toward the center of town. The entire bank of the river is paved and enclosed in stone walls; it's an intensely built environment. There are still enormous iron rings set into the stone walls where, one presumes, boats were once moored, and some of them have worn away the stone in which they are set:

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Many of the bridges have sculpture under the roadbed, that is only visible from below. Here, bracket masks in the form of, well, I'm not sure what. Guys with seashells for eyebrows.

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And this one made me think immediately of Napoleon, but I don't know if that's right.

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1 comment:

gpwieland said...

Almost certainly the "Emblem of the Napoleonic Consulate during the French First Republic"

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fe/NapLogo_copy.jpg/100px-NapLogo_copy.jpg&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Military_history/Archive_16&h=150&w=100&sz=6&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=V6OMN670vI3I7M:&tbnh=96&tbnw=64&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dnapoleonic%2Bcrest%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3Db1L%26sa%3DG