Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Sab's Top Ten Wayward Paris Bridges: No.3 ~ "Pont du Garigliano"

POSTED IN:  ~ PlacesTop 10 ~ Bridges

Sab's Top Ten Wayward Paris Bridges
No.3: Most Artistic (Yet Ugliest) ~ Pont du Garigliano - Introduction
by Sab Will,  wannabe offbeat Paris street guru

Forget your most beautiful, forget your most romantic (with one or two notable exceptions), here I offer you an alternative take on the age old problem: how not to end up writing unpalatable, purple prose-tinted, nauseating gush when talking about Paris and its good old Mère Seine.

The approach I’ve taken for my Top Ten Wayward Paris Bridges may not be new, for all I know, and I've certainly seen another list or two of the Top Ten Paris bridges, but the angle taken, bless them, is invariably eulogistic. Homages to hurl to, if you will.

I wanted to try something different, so I took a bunch of Paris bridges with what I considered notable characteristics and ramped them up to the giddy heights of ‘most’.

Whence the list below, where I offer you the most artistic, the most pretentious (go on, guess before looking, I’m sure you’ll get it) and yes, I couldn’t resist, the most romantic bridges in Paris, to name but a few. So go ahead and get out there; maybe I'll cross you on the Seine one of these days.

Sab's Top Ten Wayward Paris Bridges

No.3: Most Artistic (Yet Ugliest) Paris Bridge – Pont du Garigliano

Guess I'd better come clean - it's not the bridge itself which is artistic; the bridge is a horrendous lump of featureless green-painted scrap iron without the slightest artistic merit whatsoever. In fact, I couldn't remember why I hadn't done an 'ugliest' Paris bridge, but now I remember why: this one fits the bill admirably.

Which is probably the reason they chose it for what I'm about to tell you. Because the Pont du Garigliano, you see, possesses one unquestionably redeeming feature: slap-bang in the middle squats a remarkable work of art.

Clearly visible from Google Maps overhead satellite view and who knows, maybe from the International Space Station, a curious peachy-pink warty floral protrusion grabs our attention. From the bridge itself the effect of this colourfully flamboyant sculpture is, for me at least, quite magical.

I've always been attracted to nature's curves and twists, and almost all the more so when they're constructed out of materials which shouldn't be curving and twisting even in the most obscure of alternative worlds. To be honest it's simply what most sculptors have been doing for centuries, but this blossoming of gently undulating panels is pure poetry to these eyes.

And the intrigue doesn't stop there. Inside this piece is, of all things, an old telephone receiver. You can't call out, but a notice informs that the phone may ring at any given moment, dialed by the only person who has the number: the artist herself. I've never got the call but I'm still waiting in hope and anticipation. I'm working on a suitably artistic thing to say if it does ring on my shift. Given the context, 'Hello' seems somehow so terribly... weak. Any ideas?


* Sab Will runs Photo and Curios Tours in Paris, and also manages a variety of Paris and photography-themed sites and blogs. He writes an illustrated Paris Chronicle every day, runs a Meetup group for Paris lovers, interviews Paris personalities and reviews Paris books (on this blog), and even contributes to the city's street art (shh), so feel free to browse some of the links below and in the right-hand column to find out more about what he gets up to out there...

© 2011 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and offers always welcome!

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