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Missed my usual routine with

Missed my usual routine with dinner out, so here is yesterday's post this morning. Our destination was the Parc de la Villette, a modern-designed urban space that is still wearing well. It's a seventy-five acre rectangle bisected by the canal de l'Ourcq with a perpendicular walkway and bridge over the canal connecting the two halves. The northern half is filled by the Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie while the southern half has la Grande Halle, an immense cast-iron shed with clerestory windows that has the feel of an old train station, and many different park zones created through thematic plantings and level changes. Randomly dotting the park is a grid of twenty-three follies, bright red structures each of a different design and function. The red folly pictured is a pass-through going from the Science Museum to the bridge over the canal. The circular and curvilinear themes used throughout the park, included a wonderful wavy canopy over the main walkway, concrete benches lighted from below with glass circles in the seats, and a variety of paving patterns, including black and white stones set by hand to poke up and make the black ones look almost like mussel shells. My favorite spots were the terraced gardens covered with grapevine trellises and tiny waterfalls flowing down between each step, and just across the next bridge, the jardin des bambous. Its pathways, almost hidden below the bridge, prompted us to search for the stairs down to this overgrown, jungle-like space filled with all different types of bamboo, and to feel like we were among the few to find it.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 22, 2001 7:33 AM.

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