New “Paris Rive Gauche” in the 13th
When I hear “Rive Gauche” I think Left Bank Saint Germain area...small streets..small bistros..small shops..small hotels. Well the NEW “Paris rive Gauche” is anything BUT that.. It is open spaces..new buildings..modern architecture...high rise glass buildings..new tree lined streets and funky young bars and restaurants The anchor for the 13th is Mitterand Library. Opened is 1996 it was designed to represent four open books. They forgot to have closure for all the glass as to not destroy the books within the library.. Movable doors were added later at great expense.
Why would you develop a new city along the Seine? One reason was need for housing. Another is the expansion of Paris Diderot University, which has 26,000 students in this new location. The first buildings were glass and modern. Now more are being built, black and modern. The Avenue De France is supposed to end at two tower buildings. But not yet. The area has sports bars, cafes, many movie theaters and book stores. Would you want to live here?
If you like plants and flowers you have a huge Truffeau store on the Quai. Everything you could ever want in plants. Always fun to see what is in season...but then...how do you get it home? Take a taxi.
Are movies high on your list of things to do? The MK2 theaters are fantastic..Big, new,and very current films. the book store in the lobby is grand, lots of light and many art book selections. Because this is a young area there are lots of things to do.
“The Dock” is a former warehouse area that has been redone in wood, glass, metallic and green areas. It undulatingly bright green roof is not wonderful but it can be seen from the other side of the Seine. The buildings have the French Fashion Institute, restaurants, exhibition space and businesses.
The area has the famous “Josephine Baker” pool. It is high tech and all modern. The pool has saunas, hamman, fitness room, and a pool for children. Open to the public.
There is a foot bridge in front of the Mitterand Library that takes you to the Bercy area, the 12th arrondissement. It is the 37th bridge built across the Seine. Named the Simone Beauvoir footbridge.
The area has many tree lines streets and sitting areas. Very nice for reading and enjoying shaded places. The one very ugly thing is a magnificent Wallace fountain painted shocking pink. The Wallace fountains were given to the city of Paris in the 1870’s so the people could have fresh water. They were all of cast iron and painted green Sir Richard Wallace would turn over in his grave if he saw this shocking pink fountain that he donated.
The area is new and different. Very modern and avant garde. There is still much building to be done but it certainly is a wide open space in Paris. It is an area to explore
and it has a very young feeling..Look...learn..and listen..Open your mind to new things. Enjoy