Sunday, July 29, 2007

Giants, Velos, and the Salvation Army

It's my very last day in Paris--can you imagine?--and I have a potpourri of blog images to share before I leave. I fly out tomorrow (Monday) from Charles de Gaulle Airport.

First photos: Le Géant d'Isoré. There is a street not far from our apartment called "rue de la Tombe Issoire" (street of the tomb of Isoré). I didn't know anything about the history until a few months ago, when the sculpture on the left of a giant glued to the wall of a school myseriously popped up. Apprently (according to the sign on the wall next to it) the giant of legend would terrorize pilgrims on their way to visit Paris; his terrible reign lasted until he was decapitated by a hermit knight named Guillaume. His gigantic body was too large to move and thus he was buried where he fell, in what is now the rue de la Tombe Isoré. Anyways, here's another view of this very cool sculpture:

Also, the latest biking news in France (aside from the Tour de France, which appears to be one ridiculous scandal after another): just a few weeks ago, the city started a new program to encourage alternative forms of transportation where you can rent velos (bicycles) for cheap--the first 1/2 hour is free, and there is a nominal fee after that. There are bike racks (below) located all throughout Paris where you swipe a card to rent the bike, and you can return the bike to any other bike rack in the city. I love the idea and the design of the bikes (they are advertised as being "incassable et involable" = unbreakable and unstealable, though I'm sure both of those claims will be tested in the coming months) and apparently so do Parisians--I see the bikes all over the city.

Also, yesterday Claire and I brought a bunch of old clothes to our closest neighborhood "Salvation Army", which in France is called "l'Armée du Salut". Their motto: "Sang et Feu" ("blood and fire").

Interestingly, the building turned out to be the first Armée du Salut in France ever built; it's called "le Palais du Peuple" ("the Palace of the People"). Finally, in unrelated news, rumors continue to swirl surrounding a cute Paris-born infant who was attacked by a three-headed dragon. Nate's Blog is posting this exclusive photo from a firsthand witness:

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