Sunday, April 8, 2012

Where's Karl? Contest #2

Here's the answer to the second installment of the Le Prof et La Potiche Blog "Where's Karl?" Contest!

Where Is He?
Clue #1: He's just strolled along a road strongly associated, oddly enough, with the Dictionnaire historique des rues de Paris. But what intersection is he overlooking now? And how did he get there?

Clue #2: Our path has led us along the decommissioned Vincennes railway line....

Answer: La Promenade Plantée
Winner: Nobody :(

Here's Karl, on the Promenade Plantée, or Coulée Verte, at the intersection of Rue Jacques Hillairet (Hillairet was author of the Dictionnaire historique des rues de Paris), Rue Montgallet, and Rue de Charenton. We're just past the Jardin de Reuilly, walking westward along the Promenade.

The Promenade Plantée is an elevated park in the 12th arrondissement, built on the abandoned Vincennes railway line and opened in 1993. It was the High Line before there was a High Line! And I know that recently, some of you have looked online at an image comparing the two parks from Vahram Muratyan's book, Paris vs. New York: A Tally of Two Cities, because you sent me links to it! The Promenade includes 4.7 km of pedestrian and bike paths, running from the Bois de Vincennes under the Périphérique beltway, over the Viaduc des Arts to Bastille. It is a gorgeous park, and a gorgeous use of what had been decaying urban industrial space, and a wonderful peek into the backs of outer-arrondissement Parisians' apartments.

We took the métro out to Porte Dorée,
then Vélibed through this garden here.

Click on any of the pictures for a closer look.

Then we rode through tunnels.
Wheeeeeeee! The next tunnel contained a prehistoric-looking grotto. A French park is not a French park without a grotto. Prehistoric is also fashionable.

Shortly thereafter, we had to abandon our bikes, because the bike lane ended. Clearly, the park planners knew we'd be so staggered by the prehistoric grotto that we'd no longer be able to balance on wheels.

We entered the Jardin de Reuilly, which advertised the proximity of an old castle that the Merovingian kings (mid-5th century to March, 752) once frequented. Karl was VERY excited! You don't get to see a lot of Merovingian stuff in the U.S. You don't even see a lot of Merovingian stuff in France.

But this was the only sight that even began to resemble a Merovingian castle. They say that people were smaller in those days. But who are "they," anyway?

We approached, and passed through, the Mystery spot. Then we descended to visit the Marché Aligré, the first street market we've visited where the vendors were loudly hawking their wares (strawberries and fish were the big items) in at least two different languages. We bought merguez-frites (which are merguez and french fries stuffed into a baguette) and went back up through a bamboo garden to sit on the Promenade and eat our lunch.

Here, I am marveling over the fact that this thing is nearly three miles long, and absolutely gorgeous, and nobody ever told me on any of my previous Paris visits that I ought to see it!

So. Are the clues not helpful enough? Do we need to be more specific? Or is it just more fun to sit back and wait for the pictures to roll out?

Contest #1: Winner, Anne. Link to the answer!


  1. And the Lord said unto Karl and Alison, raise your staff over l'immeuble, and part it so that you may pass to safety. And I, the Lord Almighty Powerful, will harden the hearts of those who pursue you, and I will close the walls of l'immeuble unto them, so that they are crushed, not unlike the trash compactor scene in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. And those who pursue and persecute you will know that I am the One True Unnameable Infinite G-O-D.

  2. I'm less worried about where Karl is than I am concerned that he always has this one blue scarf around his neck and is looking haughty. Mix it up, Karl!

  3. Packed only the one scarf. The one face too. I have a whole mess of new faces back in Brooklyn, though perhaps a bit musty now.

  4. Here's the kind of contest I could win: you post a photo of Karl standing in front of a store. The store's sign is partially obscured, but visibly reads "AKESPEARE AND COMPANY."

  5. R: I think you could win any contest, if only the sponsors would announce in advance that the prize was salted caramels from Brittany.

  6. Well, you make a good point. Maybe I need to make a batch of those things...