Thursday, September 3, 2009

The 21st Arrondisement

During our first weeks in Philadelphia, my husband and I found ourselves being reminded of Paris. At first we just thought it was simply the switch to urban rather than suburban living - interesting walks past lovely old houses, lots of history, lively street life, plenty of little restaurants and cafes, etc. After a while it became more specific and we realized that there are indeed actually many similarities - and that we are by no means the first to notice. I even found a book entitled "Philadelphia: An American Paris" by Joseph L. Borkson (2006) full of wonderful pictures that document particular sites and architecture to match those in Paris. Here are a few of my photos, some from a recent bike ride along the magnificent Schuylkill River trail that right along the river in a beautiful park, from the heart of Philadelphia to Valley Forge, a distance of about 20 miles. The Schuylkill isn't the Seine - it's wilder and less confined - but the sense of freedom on a bike in a city was a nice reminder of long rides along the quais and through traffic light streets of summer Paris.

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