Friday, February 18, 2011

Paris falls...


It may not be the most glamorous scene you can come across in Paris, but it is a very Parisian one! This is a close up of a very important element of our street cleaning system. For yes, ladies and gentlemen, underneath all our sidewalks there are two pipe networks: one for drinkable water and one to clean the streets (mostly fed by the Seine after a light filtering). This system was built by Eugène Belgrand - an engineer who used to work for Hausmann and is still used nowadays, only now the cleaners are supposed to be more conscious about the water consumption (I know it's not obvious from what you can see in tis photo...)

29 comments:

  1. I stayed in Paris for two weeks a few years ago and saw this happen every morning. It took me a while to figure it out. Thanks for the close-up. :)

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  2. Such a civilized way to clean the streets of debris.
    The running water also came in handy when I stepped in something a dog did while admiring the graffiti on Serge Gainsbourg's home.

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  3. Cool photo! I hope you didn't get wet.

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  4. I was going to say what ET Suzy said—because there you are down there bringing us that famous perspective again. I love your vie quotidienne shots of Paris, especially along with a bit of history.

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  5. . . . along *with* a bit of history.

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  6. I am SO impressed. Leave it to you, Eric, to take a pretty shot of a street cleaning system! I like this photo, and I appreciate the history info. too.

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  7. The street cleaning is indeed very Parisian. I loved walking the morning streets when they still were wet, or the water was still flowing in the gutters. Always fresh streets in the morning, no trash. And th shop keepers wash down the sidewalks in front of the shops. Thanks for the education abut using the Seine water: I always wondered about the use of potable water to clean streets.

    Civilization is not a natural condition: we have to create it. It doesn't just happen like most people assume it does.

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  8. Many is an early morning trudging home from the clubs with friends where we encountered the street cleaners hard at work and the water flowing! Very Parisian indeed. Another great perspective Eric.

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  9. I strangely like seeing this happen in the morning in Paris. It makes the city seem fresh in the morning x

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  10. I was just thinking the other day how our little village could use some Paris water cleaning pipes. Funny to think you would take a picture - and yet it is so evocative of mornings in Paris.

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  11. What a strength in this water or these falls! Paris in the morning is usually light and somehow joyful! I know you are a morning person Eric (but not only I guess!) for these reasons also. And I agree that sometimes an apointment for breakfast time in a nice Café is really enjoyable. Does not happen to me often but I did it lately and that was cool. Sure, as Eric knows a little of me, he may open large eyes reading that ;)) But this is the naked truth - lol!

    Flore

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  12. I had no idea the water flow was that strong...although it certainly explains why I got so soaked when I tripped off the sidewalk at the Rond Point and landed in it!

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  13. I simply love learning all theses facts about Paris!!!

    Thanks PDP!!

    (It´s Monica from Rio here. It seems I can´t log in anymore... )

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  14. I always wondered how the city would take care of the streets--thanks, Eric! A very efficient way of taking care of the problem as well. (So many hills here, it would never work, and the pipes would freeze, which is why we have little sweeper trucks. :) Thankfully our town is much smaller--can you imagine having to sweep all the streets in Paris every night?)

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  15. Imagine the scene:

    Early morning Paris, the streets are deserted.

    -His girlfriend dumped him for his best friend last night, he went out and got drunk, fell asleep in a doorway and when he woke up, his wallet, his keys and his new shoes are gone.

    He squats down on the kerb at the side of the street, exhausted, hungover shoeless and girlfriendless, but a smile spreads across his face as he reaches into a pocket and pulls out a ticket, a lottery ticket, a WINNING lottery ticket.
    As he examines the ticket he tries to picture the face of his cheating bitch of an ex-girlfriend when she hears the news. Ha! Ha!
    Just then, there is a swooshing sound and what looks like a small waterfall whooshes from between his legs, soaking his trousers. Startled, he jumps up quickly, dropping the ticket and can only watch as it is swept away by the torrent of water and disappears down a storm drain.
    Still, at least he is in Paris.

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  16. I wish we had this in Manhattan!
    Cool shot Eric.

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  17. @Drummond, did you ever publish anything??? If you did not you should!

    @Flore. How about a breakfast one of these mornings? It's been a while since we've seen each other.

    @Jeff "Civilization is not a natural condition: we have to create it. It doesn't just happen like most people assume it does." True, but sometimes you wonder if it ever happens LOL! You know what Gandhi is said to have replied to a reporter who asked him "what do you think of American civilization?"
    -Gandhi "Er... yeah, I think it would be good idea!"
    (Sounds too funny to be true, but still...)

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  18. Eric, sure that would be great! Well, I'm leaving Paris tomorrow for a few days. I'll send you a message soon.

    Flore

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  19. Drummond, that is great! Eric I never knew of this ingenious idea! Hope your hair didn't get wet! ;)

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  20. Great shot Eric! Makes me miss summer mornings in Paris.

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  21. From this angle,you must have been in that new lycra water resistent suit of yours! Well done! Therese

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  22. oh thank you so much; I am living in France, nr Paris for three years and was FOREVER WONDERING why all the water continuously ran down the gutters of the streets; there is obviously still not much thought going into environmental matters as nobody ever seems to bother with doing much cleaning and the water is running for weeks, even months. BUT it's good that there is a purpose and I am happy to have learned something important about this man with a great vision! Thank you again, Eric.

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  23. @ Drummond: You made me smile! :)Wonderful story
    @ Eric: I pushed to 'enter' button too quickly; wanted to say how lovely this early morning photo is and how thankful I am for the historical snippets you pass on occasionally! :)

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  24. Never knew that before. *goes off to do research* :)

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  25. Intriguing indeed!
    That answers my never-aloud-set question why are almost all night-scenes in French films, taken on streets of Paris, so dripping wet...
    Thanks

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  26. I am from the Philippines. I had a side trip to Paris for 3 days way back in December 2008 then back to Brussels. Can't get much information regarding this romantic city just in three days, the reason why I dropped by in the blog. Keep blogging dear!

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