This was on a Sunday morning, around noon, in Saint-Denis, where I settled after leaving the USA in 1994. Saint-Denis has a border contiguous with that of Paris. I'd been to a Mass in the Basilica (world's first Gothic church, 12th c.) and had been to the huge greenmarket (arguably one of the largest in Europe) (open Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings) where I'd bought raw milk and three pheasants for five euros fifty eurocents total. Rue de Strasbourg is ancient and has a small river still flowing beneath it. This was the traditional way you'd set out for Strasbourg, once you'd left the safety of the walls of Saint-Denis (there were two main barbarian invasions in the Dark Ages, so it was a walled city). This was the first tramway put in (during the 1980s) in the Greater Paris region -- now there are many, in the city of Paris and around it. They are very convenient, and your bus or metro ticket or pass works on them.
Rue de Strasbourg is a bit grungy to put it mildly, and gets a huge amount of foot traffic. Over 80 languages per day are spoken in this complex and quite large city, which also has an island in the river Seine and its own city hall there, and I find this much more interesting than New York City ever was for me. I find Paris very, very complex -- quite a tough nut to crack.
Copyright 2014 Lisa B. Falour, B.S., M.B.A.
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