Chez Soi

Adventures of a Year Abroad

Thump thump thump

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Paris has a rhythm and a musical tradition.  You can hear the music in the birds singing their pretty message with a sense of urgency.  That’s kinda cute and uplifting.  And there’s music in the 5pm car horns when folks want to get somewhere but a van has parked not-quite-far-enough onto the sidewalk. Early thump thumpcars slip past but the first good-sized truck must stop and wait, typically with patient kindred sympathy for the delivery guy.  Now all traffic piles up behind the truck, and those folks are not nearly so sympa. This traffic music is not entirely pleasant, but tolerable, coming once or twice a week and lasting only a few minutes.

For the last 2 weeks, we have been getting a new tune that is very heavy on the bass, and even less endearing than car horns.  Our apartment is next door to (roughly) the Office of Veterans Affairs.  This institution has a biggish courtyard that, apparently, is soon going to be home to a whole new building.  This means a near-constant jack-hammering with other ground-shaking instruments chiming in on a regular basis.  At first we shrugged it off… probably just some big plumbing job. After all, they’re always upgrading gaz pipelines or whatever.

Uh, no.

To me, the first hint of a longer term project was the appearance, earlier this week, of vertical posts in the roadway, as shown in the above picture.  This portends the construction of a kind of semi-permanent elevated project management office such as the one shown below (I cropped from this image on Google StreetView) on Saint Dominque across from the Dominos Pizza (did they cleverly pick the STemporary proj mgmt officet Dom’s address?) near the Esplanade des Invalides. If I’m right about the elevated project office, then the thumpa-thumpa construction disco beat will probably continue right up till our departure. <sigh>

One amusing thing (hey, I’m easy)… the temporary yellow-striped crosswalk in the first photo is in the exact same spot as the temporary yellow crosswalk that was removed 3 months ago.  That came in after our apartment tour but before our arrival, necessitated by a massive building renovation across the street which finished up late last year.  Temporary is the new normal in Paris.  Wonder when they will finish.  We’ll check in on it in future visits (how could we miss a quick peek at our former grounds?), or maybe just text our soon-to-be-former gardienne for an update.

Author: curtbeckmann

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