Friday, February 08, 2008

To jump or not to jump...


The Eiffel Tower is not always this Paris symbol where - some - people propose to their fiancee while having dinner at the Jules Vernes restaurant! Sometimes, it's also a handy place for desperate beings to commit suicide. That is precisely what happened yesterday, when a 28 year old girl jumped off the staircase, halfway from the 1st floor. The oddest part is that she did not die right away; she was taken to a hospital nearby and is still in a coma. FYI, since it was built in 1889 there has been about 350 suicides from the Eiffel Tower. Two of them are said to have survived.

57 comments:

  1. I have eaten at the Jules Verne restaurant on the second level. Now it is gone but the new one is run by Alain Ducasse, and I heard that lunch is 75 euros. The experience of both would be hard to beat.

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  2. OOPS, that wasn't clear. The experience of eating inside the Eiffel tower and Alain Ducasse's cuisine would be heaven.

    I just read Eric's commentary, and am distressed to hear what happened yesterday.My husband is commenting that the tower is screened in if you do the climb. Can somebody fill us in?

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  3. It is such a pretty picture with such a sad story. I also thought the area was caged in, but don't really remember.

    PHX - what DO you mean the Jules Verne is no longer??? Since when?

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  4. The picture created a big smile on my face: this terrific sky, and these wonderful colours. This girl who looked like an angel, wearing a white dress, on the roof of Paris...
    Then I saw your comment, and I found it so sad!

    phx-cdg, yes the Tower is screened, all the sides are protected. She had to climb.

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  5. Terrible story. I would never associate one of the most beloved symbols of our time wich such a sad fact.
    I find it odd too because there are guards at the tower, right? So besides the screen, and security system and cameras, how did she managed it?

    Well, actually, I don't think I want to know. Too morbid.

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  6. Guille,I still don't understand "where" she climbed, if Eric said she jumped off the staircase. Where is there room internally to jump off a staircase?

    Pont Girl: On a lighter note,the contract was up on Jules Verne and the city put it up for grabs. Alain won. The new restaurant even had to weigh the same as the old, and every piece of new material for the new restaurant was weighed! Since there was limited kitchen space, he took over a space in a room under the Champ de Mars. and the food will be transported via a service elevator.
    Mr. PHX was just informed he is taking me there for Valentine's Day to be celebrated June 11th or so when we will be in Paris together . His response was that he hasn't finished paying for the FIRST Ducasse experience 10 years ago, but he said "Ok,I'll take out a loan." Jeff, you seem like a Mr. Romance kind of guy, would you take Mrs. Jeff one day?

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  7. I'll refrain from my usual excitement over the tower out of respect for the situation. It's a beautiful photo though, and having the girl speaking to the nun on the ledge really ties in with your narrative.

    phx-cdg, Valentine's Day dinner on the Eiffel Tower? Tres chic! The closest I've come to dining on the tower is in Las Vegas! The food was great but the true romance of the Eiffel Tower could never be reproduced.

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  8. A very sad blog this one Eric but this is one of the reasons why I like your blog. It is not just about the beautiful things of Paris.

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  9. 350 suicides, and two are said to have survived (which brings the total to 348). Something to keep in mind when strolling around the Eiffel Tower. Best to look up once in awhile.

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  10. LOL Luggi! ;)

    The San Francisco equivalent is usually the Golden Gate bridge (and once in a while, the Bay Bridge).

    It always kind of breaks my heart to know that people can be so desperate that they feel the need to resort to that extreme measure. And maybe I say that because I think I know what it feels like to wanna throw in the towel and say "that's it, enough, can't take it anymore of this sh.." but to actually do it? How very, very sad and terrible, indeed.

    Great unusual shot, by the way! Well done!

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  11. Very sad day for Paris and La Tour Eiffel.

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  12. Eric, this is a beautiful composition to capture the sad feelings. Photos can be so powerful that way. Your narrative is quite thoughtful. The contrast between the man napping in the park yesterday and today's news at the Eiffel Tower...

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  13. How sad that she felt so bad. I do like the composition of this photo.

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  14. A beautiful photo. Maybe the young woman will have a second chance. If not, she chose one of the grandest places on earth for her death.

    We took the elevator and still found the climb vertiginous. I don't remember the stairs being enclosed. In America they would be, but Europeans aren't as litigious as we are. I'm glad of it; otherwise I wouldn't have been allowed to climb the stairs to the roof of St. Paul's in London, or had that fantastic view from the top of Notre Dame.

    I guess misery finds its way. Even Pasadena has its Colorado Street Bridge.

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  15. This post reminded me of an old newsreel I saw of Franz Reichelt, the first person to die by jumping from la Tour Eiffel. M. Reichelt did not commit suicide. He intended to fly.

    This was in 1912. You can find a brief entry about Reichelt on Wikipedia, with a couple of links.

    Here's the video. http://tinyurl.com/2q8q9h

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  16. phx-cdg
    Lunch at EU$75?

    Maybe for a bow of soup and some bread, with no wine included!

    If it is anything like his Plaza Athénée restaurant in Paris you can add a zero after the 75!

    The food is delicious, the atmosphere perfect, service impeccable but the prices are salty!

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  17. Great picture Eric! Sad about the girl. I can't understand why people choose to end their lives from the Eiffel Tower. Isn't it strange? I mean if you just want to kill yourself, there must be a million other, easier ways.

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  18. Clever angle!

    I hope no one will disclose on the internet how that girl found her way to jump off
    every information of this kind generates imitations, just like suicides in the metro
    cusiously, suicide is contagious
    that's why neither the Eiffel tower nor the RATP communicate on the subject

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  19. Fredrik i suppose it's as Petrea says, if you're going to do it, then why not choose one of the most beautiful sites in the world. It has the flip side of then ruining the tower for the whole family forever afterwards, surely.

    I am so sad to hear of this young lady's decision, Eric. When i hear of such things, i always wish the chance to have spoken to them first. I don't know what makes ME think i could make a difference, but i always feel i would have liked that ten minute chance, to try to convince them that there ARE better times to come.

    The picture is stunning of the tower and very apt that you should capture a girl, too in that stance. I could never sit there. I just cannot handle heights, not at all. Not free like that, near the edge. Ughhhh. Behind the safety of the confines in the tower, that's ok. Yes, how exactly DID she manage it? I hope she will recover to find that life is truly worth living. It's very hard, sometimes, but worth it.

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  20. Ok yes, that's a good point, Lili. Don't answer my question, then Eric. Here,in the UK, in Wales, in one town, there have been 14 separate suicides of teenagers in recent years, believed to have been part of some cult or trend, thought to have been planned through their internet connections. However, i don't think the web can be entirely blamed for this. Twenty years ago, perhaps they just would have planned it by phone or talking in the park.

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  21. Lynn, and without disrespect to those who may have lost loved ones to suicide, I agree with your first comment. I have often thought (well, not too often) that if I were going to "do it" I would choose the Eiffel Tower or the Seine. I love Paris so much that this is where I'd want to leave my bodily parts.

    Downside: getting hit by one of the Bateaux Mouches or splattering a group of tourists under the tower. Yuck!

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  22. Désolée de ne pas m'exprimer en anglais, je n'en ai pas l'envie aujourd'hui.
    Je reviens juste d'un enterrement hier dans ma famille.
    Mon oncle (58 ans) est mort des suites d'un cancer.
    Je peux dire que dans ces moments là, on mesure pleinement toute l'injustice d'une vie trop vite interrompue.
    De retour, hier soir en lisant le texte d'Eric contrastant avec la sérénité qui se dégageait de la photo juste au-dessus, le paradoxe était saisissant ... Hier, nous aurions tous tellement aimé que la vie l'ait emporté dans ce dur combat à armes inégales contre la maladie que bien sûr la pensée d'une personne qui décide d'elle même de supprimer la vie qui est en elle, est incompréhensible.
    Le mystère de la vie est si fort face à un corps sans vie...
    Pardon pour ces mots pas gais du tout mais en même temps, symboliques de ce qu'est la vie dont il faut essayer (pas toujours facile) chaque jour de profiter par tous les sens!
    Le ciel bleu de cette photo nous y aide!

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  23. Desolee pour votre oncle, Anonyme. Le ciel bleu est la toujours, c'est simplement disparu par les nuages de temps en temps.

    Desolee aussi pour mon francais !

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  24. Monica and Guille, i've been back a few posts to answer you. Sorry it took a while...

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  25. Merci Lynn.
    Merci pour ces mots en français! Le ciel bleu est toujours là, c'est vrai, simplement caché par les nuages de temps en temps! C'est absolument vrai!

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  26. Ah, cache, oui c'est ca, c'est le mot, merci! Je n'ai pas une dictionaire ici en francais dans la chambre de mon fils. J'utilise son ordinateur en ce moment la. Merci Monsieur/Madame.

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  27. San Diego's preferred suicide spot is the Coronado Bay Bridge, built high enough for the US Navy's biggest ships:
    http://www.terragalleria.com/images/us-ca/usca34520.jpeg

    A very strange suicide story unfolded in the early hours of New Year's Day. A 27-year old party lover, at the end of a police pursuit on the bridge, grabbed a police dog and made the jump. Amazingly, he survived but the dog did not. He's now a) in hospital for a while, and b) under arrest. Full story here:
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20080108-1549-bridgejumper.html

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  28. Amazing how beautiful, iconic symbols can also be the scene of such personal tragedy. In San Francisco, California, it's the Golden Gate Bridge that draws jumpers.

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  29. In the UK it's often Beachy Head (a cliff).

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  30. And I've replied to you Lynn a post or two back. We're going to have to catch up!

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  31. Eric, lovely photo.

    Anonyme, merci pour votre rappel "Jouir chaque jour avec tous vos sens! "

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  32. I´ll catch up Lynn. So lovely to see you "speaking" french here.

    Oh and Michael, you better hop over to Rio after meeting with your other girlfriend
    Mll. Caip I. Rinha or I will be extremely JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!

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  33. Michael it´s not raining in Rio anymore :-)

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  34. Lynn,
    I'm admiring: you "speak" French without any problem!
    It is not Michael who would make that. :p ...Enfin, je crois...
    I often meet Mll.Caip I.Rinha too. I really like her and her friend Caipivodka, you're right Monica, their are both fantastic.

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  35. wow - never judge a day by its weather. sad things happen even on the most beautiful day in the most beautiful city.

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  36. Très beau commentaire anonyme. Emouvant et plein de justesse sans sensiblerie.

    I knew this post was a bit sad, but I was touched by the story of this girl when I read the story in the paper.

    What's even more sad is that she finally did not make it through the night I just learned.

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  37. Ah, c'est très triste, Eric. J'ai esperée qu'elle vivrai et trouve la vie meilleure.

    (Ma français est terrible.)

    I mean to say it is very sad. I had hoped she would live and find a better life.

    Now, Guille and Monica, you know why I think your English is perfect.

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  38. Thank you for the update, Eric.

    May she rest in peace . . .

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  39. Hello,
    I have a blog with nice pictures from all over the world that people take when they are on holiday or just when they want to share the beauty of the place they are kiving in. I saw some nice pictures on your blog, would you be ok to send me a few so I could add them?
    My email is Yourbestworldspots@yahoo.com and the blog adress is http://yourbestworldspot.blogspot.com/, don't hesitate to come and have a look!!

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  40. RIP. Poor thing.

    Lynn I am so sad to hear of this young lady's decision, Eric. When i hear of such things, i always wish the chance to have spoken to them first. I don't know what makes ME think i could make a difference, but i always feel i would have liked that ten minute chance, to try to convince them that there ARE better times to come. I know *exactly* what you mean.

    On a lighter note, there was a movie with Daniel Auteuil (Yeah, I know, that doesn't narrow it much, does it ;) In this movie, Daniel Auteuil is a waiter or Maitre D, and he happen to rescue a guy who was contemplating suicide. The whole movie turns out to be fun, heartwarming. I don't remember the title, though. Anyone?

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  41. Well, it is possible to jump off the top of the Tour Eiffel and NOT be killed:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPyUsyF_OgM

    I'm not sure if the question of the TE restaurant was resolved above. It's still Jules Verne but it has been renovated and now run by Alain Ducasse.

    Eric, what a fabulous composition!

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  42. Well...I must agree with you tomate...the GG Bridge is our iconic equivalent in San Francisco and it is sad that a place of such beauty like the Tour Eiffel or Golden Gate Bridge can also be associated with sadness and tragedy. Apparently around the time that the 500th Jump was about to happen off of the GG Bridge two different potential jumpers were apprehended from different sides of the bridge and they were both wearing the same tee shirt which said "I'm Number 500"!! Sad...now the number off of the GG Bridge is over 1,250!

    I know we all think or say sometimes "Oh..the hell with it..I'll just end it..." but to actually do it is a whole other story, and a sad one.

    Anonyme...Parfait!! Merci!!

    Le mystère de la vie est si fort face à un corps sans vie...
    Le ciel bleu de cette photo nous y aide!

    Also...is that really a "Nun" in the photo speaking to the woman..or just her hair band??? ;-)

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  43. Thank, you Eric. I think it's important to remember that human beings live in the post card photo that is Paris. Life is...often sad, often happy. Always peculiar, usually touching. We're better for thinking about it, and about others, even though we may never understand them.

    My sincere condolences for the anonymous commenter who lost his uncle.

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  44. Guille, where have you had caipivodka? In Paris? Maybe next time I go to Paris we should all meet and have some!!

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  45. Tomate: yes it's kind of helpless isn't it.

    Guille, thanks a lot, though i am very rusty, i want to get it back!

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  46. This topic reminds me of Earnest Hemingway's six-word story: "For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never worn."

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  47. Merci Eric. Le pouvoir d'entrer dans la vie des autres, cela doit être ça! L'histoire de cette femme de 28 ans a beaucoup résonné en moi parce que je vivais justement un épisode triste mais dans un sens différent.

    Jeff, Tonton, Glenda et Lynn, thanks a lot for your kind words.

    There is such a wonderful blue sky on Paris today...

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  48. Monica, I drink Caipivodka in Paris, but the places to drink it are few. I'm a cocktails lover. In the 11th arrondissement, in Bastille, it's easier to find them. Maybe it's because it's a touristic place, I don't know. Anyway this caipivodka in common is a good idea!
    Lynn, if you are rusty, let's practice French! What do you think?

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  49. How tragic! Suicide, whether I know the person or not, makes me always wonder could I have done something to prevent it from happening. (Yeah, I guess I do believe in the butterfly effect.) A dear friend of mine committed suicide 1 yr ago and the pain his suicide left behind is felt daily.

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  50. I was there last April. I went to the top at night! It was breathtaking. :D

    Thank you for the memories!

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  51. hi eric i love all ur paris pictures so much...hope one day i can go visit france!:)

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    http://www.resimupload.org

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