Monday, 31 October 2011

Sab's Top Ten Wayward Paris Bridges: No.11 ~ "Pont de Grenelle"

POSTED IN:  ~ PlacesTop 10 ~ Bridges

Sab's Top Ten Wayward Paris Bridges
No.11: "Ugliest" ~ Pont de Grenelle - 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.11) "Ugliest" Paris Bridge – Pont de Grenelle

Late news just in: Despite what I said back in No.? about the Pont du Garigliano's striking inelegance, we have a late contender for Paris' ugliest bridge which I just know you'd want to hear about!

Of course, the two bridges taking the Paris ring road, the Périphérique, across the Seine are both officially still in the city, and if I counted them they’d probably collectively win the ugliest Paris bridge title arches down in a terrifyingly anaesthetic double whammy. I mean, there’s ugly, there's damn ugly, and then there's the Périphérique bridges.

So, leaving them aside for a moment, I’m forced to conclude, after careful study, that the prize for the ugliest Paris bridge has to go to… Pont de Grenelle. It’s a stinker.

Despite the funny little artificial Ile des Cygnes (Ile of the Swans) attempting to give it a semblance of elegance; despite the presence of one of Paris’ copies (or is that 'originals') of the Statue of Liberty; none of this redeems what is without a shadow of a doubt a capital eyesore, an ugly duckling, if you will, made all the more so by its elegant neighbours and not looking like it’s going to be influenced by the island it traverses any time soon. Go take a look. I guarantee you won't enjoy it.


* 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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