From The Top Of The Pomp

The Dome church and the Eiffel Tower from the top of the Pompidou Center

Today Richard and I walked over to the Pompidou Center, which is located a few blocks in from the right bank of the Seine.

Notre Dame and the Pantheon

The Pompidou Center is famous as the “inside-out” building, where all of the piping and wiring for the building is on the outside and is color-coded, with separate, bright colors for the pipes that deliver water, electricity, and so forth.  The effect is quite striking, and makes the exterior of the Pompidou Center one of the most interesting buildings in Paris.  The Pompidou Center also is home to an extensive collection of modern art, as well as a library, cinemas, and other areas dedicated to the visual arts.

Whether you appreciate the modern art or not — and I’m going to have to go with Russell one of these days, so that he can explain the ideas behind some of the pieces — you have to love the view from the top of the escalator on the outside of the building.  It may be the best panoramic vantage point in Paris.

Sacre Coeur

The escalator, like the piping and wiring, also is inside out.  It runs up one side of the building overlooking a square.  And when you reach the top, you get a commanding view of three of Paris’ most famous landmarks:  Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sacre Coeur.  The view alone is worth the price of admission.

The view also makes you realize that the older part of Paris really is like Washington, D.C. — lots of buildings of pretty much uniform height, and then some special landmarks that really dominate the skyline.  It is probably one of the few famous cities in the world where church steeples and spires remain some of the highest points in the urban landscape.

Faulty Footwear

I’m a big walker, and I knew we would be walking a lot during our stay in Paris.  It is easy, and a good way to see the city as you move from museum to church to formal garden.

A few weeks before I left Columbus, my old sneakers gave out, and I went to buy some new ones.  I chose some black Sonoma shoes that are comfortable and well-suited to a jaunt around the Yantis Loop.  I am sorry to report that they have been a dismal failure as a Parisian walking shoe, however.  They simply lack the padding needed to adequately shield my large, very flat feet from the constant pounding of foot against pavement, foot against marble floor, foot against dusty path, and foot against cobblestone.

I wore the shoes on the day we walked to the Arc de Triomphe and the day we strolled to and through the Louvre, and by the end of those days my dogs were really barking.  I was afraid that when I took my shoes off, I would find nothing but bloody stumps.  So, I switched to some much less fashionable but thickly soled old brown shoes, and my feet are once again happy campers.

By the way, when your feet are killing you you tend to notice things like the lack of floor covering.  I say it’s high time that the French discovered the glories of wall-to-wall carpeting.