A person could get lost around this place . No one told them about the grid pattern of streets ? Good old What’s His Name laid out the street pattern so that when the unfamiliar-to-the-city folks walk around they’s got to memorize the rues travelled and the boulevards passed . It doesn’t help that one rue seems to blend into another . The names change every now and again too for what to me appears to be the same street .
I wondered if what I should be doing is trying to recognize the landmarks and the location of this platz and that platz. Wasn’t really working for me either , though . After a week or so I’m beginning to get some idea of directions in Paris . I followed some complicated written directions to get to a certain bank , made one or two temporary missteps along the way , and realized after I successfully got there that I could have reached the bank much more easily on a simpler route even with the tiny bits of familiarity with the city that I already have .
I should be a little familiar with the general street layout of Paris , though , because the guy who laid out the Paris streets laid out the city plan for the Szczecin streets in Poland , Ada’s home city . That’s what the Poles say , anyway. Well , it was the city of Stettin in Germany at the time . You know , the Stettin mentioned in a famous Churchill speech about the Communist iron curtain . Stettin was the city on one end of that iron curtain . At any rate , I’m pretty sure that it was a man named Haussmann who laid out the streets in both cities between 1853 and 1870. Well , Paris for sure .
I passed a large Parisian boulevard named Haussmann yesterday . Wondered who he might have been . Turns out he worked for Napoleon III to straighten out and re-design the city of Paris . I guess the city layout was quite a mess before that . People would leave their homes to take a walk , I conjecture , and never find their way back . Maybe if Haussmann were still around he could solve the problem of dog poop all over Parisian sidewalks . I think that’s a big problem ; but maybe that’s just me .
Ada and I took her sister’s dog ( carried poop bags with us and used them ) out for an exploratory walk today . I dropped mental bread crumbs along our path as we went so that we could find our way home again . I had , by now , a general notion of direction , of where Montmarte was , and the golden Opera . We walked along unfamiliar rues to come up on the other side of Sacre Coeur. We were going along splendidly but then a light rain began . The morning prediction had been 1% chance , and here was the 1% , so we decided to abandon our trek and head for home . Maybe tomorrow we’ll hit the dog park at Sacre Coeur . Odd place to have a dog park , I thought , but dogs gotta go somewhere . Ada says she thinks it’s only open after 6 pm . Ada’s usually right , but that sounds like a weird schedule to me.
The place is full of bars and restaurants and bakeries . I’m headed over to the nearest bakery for a couple of croissants and a baguette .