The Let’s Get Lost game has a new variation. For those of you who don’t know the reason why this blog is named as it is, the let’s get lost game is something Mark and I play when we travel. The rules are simple: we start out walking and each take turns making turns. The goal is to find something we’ve not seen before, or some bit of serendipity. But we’re getting harder to surprise now that we’ve settled into Paris, and it’s difficult to get lost departing from our neighborhood. So last Saturday when we had an afternoon yawing ahead of us, we wanted to go out walking. Not having a destination in mind, we decided to let fate take a hand. Enter technology. I went online to a random number generator and had it select one of the 13 metro lines of Paris. Then we flipped a coin to choose the direction we would take from either the closest station to us by foot, or wherever the transfer point would be, toward the Eiffel tower or away. Then back to the number generator for the number of stops we would take from our starting point. From there the game would commence. The first time through we used a different formula, but once we officially formulated the rules and redid the calculation, we arrived at the same metro stop: Faidherbe-Chaligny. Clearly we had a random date with destiny there.
Upon arrival, another decision awaited: which exit? Rock, paper, scissors to the rescue. I won. The game was on. Despite all our fussing around, we were still in our home arrondissement, the 11th, but on the southern edge. There’s nothing in particular to see there so it was the perfect chance destination. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be writing about it! We had a splendid day.
First sight, straight out of the metro: a former neighborhood water source turned street art. I can’t help but think it is Diogenes, he who purportedly lived in a barrel in the marketplace.
Next, an unassuming street took us past several galleries. One was having a large exhibition of contemporary work that we quite liked. I was reminded of aerial and topographic maps.
Then to a park with not only a nicely restored pocket wetland in the middle of Paris, but also with a very friendly guardian cat who came to came to greet us. As we are both marsh and cat-deprived these days, this stop alone was enough to make our day.
Unfortunately the local church wasn’t open to go inside. It’s the Lutheran church of Bon Secours. The 11th was long a working-class neighborhood and this area had a large concentration of German and Alsatian woodworkers who worked on its construction. I bet the interior would be well worth seeing, even though I’m allergic to most churches.
Trespassing in an open courtyard to see a bit of old Paris
I never know what these old brick buildings are. There used to be more of them as I recall. Some sort of utility I imagine. This one had an unintentional but so eco-chic green roof.
I love finding old Paris. I think as travelers and as photographers, we’re always looking for vestiges of what is no longer. If I was an honest photographer and traveler, I would be on the lookout for future history (if that makes any sense). Will anyone ever be nostalgic for little shops like this? Probably.
That’s all for now. May you all have a perfectly random day!