moments of illumination in the city of light

015 : Lily Templeton Pont de Bir-Hakeim, near the Eiffel Tower
Born in 1980s in Paris, Lily Templeton currently works as Döppelganger between two careers Why Paris? Because I can’t leave. Yet. Ever. She digs the following Paris bits: 1. Its nights 2. Quiet tree lined avenues 3. Café terraces 4. The buses 5. The three P’s of Paris: the pace, the place and the people. She is, however, a bit miffed by The crowded métro, rude people (locals and tourists alike), dog shit, pigeon shit, bullshit. For more info on Lily Templeton you should send an email or visit Mademoiselle à Paris.

image: Lily Templeton

“She was still there, with her shining coat of orange and the green belt of the RER C at her feet.”

The métro stopped at Bir-Hakeim[1] and showed no sign of moving again. It was irritating, like everything in this awful city I could not wait to leave. After the requisite time of impatient waiting with my fellow travellers, I got out of the crowded car and into the brisk night air. It would be a quick walk, at my usual speed. La Tour Eiffel stood her luminous vigil, her beacon tracing evanescent circles among the clouds.

My pace slowed at the middle of the bridge[2] and I cast a resentful glance over my shoulder. She was still there, with her shining coat of orange and the green belt of the RER C at her feet.

A breath of air I did not know I was holding escaped me. I leaned against the railing and for a moment, we watched each other.

“I hate it here,” I told her to break the silence. “I’m leaving this place as soon as I can.”

Her light swept all of Paris.[3] The Left Bank to where my high school stood, the Right Bank to where I live, and everything in between, those familiar places rife with memories.

Like my mother, she let my lie slide without reproach. Another sweep of her light and I was aware that it was getting late. My hands were cold. With a final sweep, she motioned me home. I knew what she meant. She should have been torn down at the end of the World’s Fair, and yet there she is, still standing, in a town that didn’t want her at first. Conceding my defeat, I gave her a wry smile before walking home.

referenced works

  1. Bir Hakeim is a elevated metro station in Paris, which until 1949 was known as the station Quai de la Grenelle. The name was changed to commemorate the battle of Bir Hakeim, a battle in Libya during the Second World War when the Free French and British armies held off the Germans and the Italians during a 16-day siege.  It is the last stop on the Left Bank on the line 6 metro before it crosses the Seine to the Right Bank.  Taking this train from Bir Hakeim to the following stop, Passy, affords a marvelous view of the Eiffel Tower.  For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bir-Hakeim_(Paris_M%C3%A9tro).
  2. Pont de Bir Hakeim, formerly known as the Pont de Passy. Made famous in Bertolucci’s film “Last Tango in Paris.”
  3. Four high-powered searchlights were installed on the tower in 2000.

location information

  • Name: near the Eiffel Tower
  • Address: Pont de Bir-Hakeim
  • Time of story: Late NIght
  • Latitude: 48.855779
  • Longitude: 2.287731
  • Map: Google Maps



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