Thursday, 15 December 2011

Sab's Top Ten Curious Paris Corners: No.7 ~ "Hush Little Baby"

POSTED IN:  ~ PlacesTop 10 ~ Corners Statues

Sab's Top Ten Curious Paris Corners
No.7: "Hush Little Baby" ~ Introduction 
by Sab Will,  wannabe offbeat Paris street guru

Wander around these sacred streets a moment, especially the older quarters, and raise your eyes from time to time as you round a corner or two.

Peek-a-boo! There's sometimes someone looking down on you. Some would say 'looking after' us. 'Guarding over' us would be pushing my irreligious tendencies a little too far, but whatever the origins of these charming corner curiosities, it's always a pleasure to discover them.

And discover them you will in the most unexpected places, which is just one more reason to wander around Paris with your nose in the air, at the danger of slip-sliding away when you step in something much more down to earth.

Once again, thinking back on all the interesting corner phenomena I've seen in my 20-odd years in the city, I'm a little worried as to which approach to take with this series. Should I limit it to statues in niches only or go wider to include amazing mosaics, ancient shop ensignia, historic timepieces and more?

Only time will tell, in fact, but one thing's for sure, there'll be a surprise around every corner in this Paris Top 10.

Sab's Top Ten Curious Paris Corners
No.7 ~ "Hush Little Baby"

A woman cradles a baby on a windy Paris street corner. She's been there for as long as I can remember. From time to time strange shadows pass her by, neither stopping nor showing the slightest sign of recognition or acknowledgement that she even exists.

She holds the baby still. The occasional bicycle light, photographers and skateboarders skulk by but she remains impassive, immobile. A witness of the ages, half-harboured but desperately alone.

Does she find comfort, I wonder, in her proximity and view onto the Gothic Saint-Séverin? Never did a church seem so crypogenically clad to these eyes, but to hers? After all, they've spent what seems like aeons together, separated by a simple street. Rue Boutebrie; Rue de la Parcheminerie; Rue des Prêtres Saint-Séverin... could you wish for a more authentic sounding corner for our lost lady to have set up station?

Séverin himself is supposed to have been a hermit who prayed on this spot a looonng time ago. He got a church for his efforts. This lady has a baby. And a sign below her recommending we watch out for children. She's been doing that for centuries.

Discover all my curious Paris corners... 


* 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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