Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Past and present imperfect

 At the Opera Garnier in Paris you will find ballet but the orchestra decamped to l'Opera Bastille a while ago.  As the thirteen opera house to be found in Paris since the creation of this institution by King Louis XIV in 1669,  Charles Garnier designed it under Napoleon III. This gold cuppola’d pillared 19th century rococo and Empire style excess was fostered under Napoleon III. Derided as over the top by Napoleon’s detractors, more heatedly by ice cart delivery men who complained the time circumventing the ‘monstrosity’ to reach Cafe de la Paix melted their ice slabs.
But here's a remnant left of what Paris looked like before.

The artistic furor muted over the years. Not so with the horse drawn trolley drivers, the hand carts, later the motorists and bus drivers still vocal and grumbling over the traffic jams l’Opera promoted. Baron Haussmann’s design of open wide boulevards discouraged Revolutionaries by demolishing alleys, the twisting lanes ripe for street fighters and rebels with no thought of practical traffic navigation.  Baron Haussmann, a person before a being a boulevard, still provokes controversy.
Cara - Tuesday


  1. I had never thought about the revolutionary significance of alleys, Cara!