Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Sab's Paris Quirks & Curios: "Slip of a Road"

Sab's Paris Quirks & Curios
by Sab Will,  wannabe offbeat Paris street guru

The title says it all: quirks and curiosities. And as luck would have it, Paris is packed with them; you just have to know where to look!

In this on-going series I offer you some hand picked, photographed and commented oddities which particularly interested me, and I hope will do the same for you.

I'm an avid collector of such items so any comments and suggestions you may have would be very welcome. So, without further ado, let's get straight onto...

Sab's Paris Quirks & Curios
1st Arrondissement: Quirk 6 ~ "Slip of a Road"

Now, you might not find this particularly curious, but I've always been intrigued by the Rue de la Lingerie, and not for the reason you're thinking of!

I'm mean, it's a proper road, in the A to Zs and with a proper street plaque, pictured here and everything. It's just that when you actually to to try and find the thing, well, it's not that easy.

It seems that, to all intents and purposes, whilst the Beirut Café is undeniably on the Rue de la Lingerie, it's not only on it, but it is it. That's all there is. Number 2 Rue de la Lingerie and nowt else!

And very nice it is too. I think that officially it goes 'all the way' from Rue des Halles to Rue des Innocents, which Wikipedia says is the grand total of 39 metres, but you wouldn't think it.

There's a public toilet - one of the famous pee-pods - if that gives it any greater legitimacy, but it's doubtful.

I don't think it's one of the record-holders people (including me) like to tell you about, such as longest, shortest, narrowest, widest and so on, but it's a quirk which pleases me nevertheless.

The reason I'm a fan, apart from the above dialogue, is that it harks back to a time when the names of streets had real meaning as opposed to today's largely symbolic ones. They made underwear here. Imagine that - millions of knickers and bras in mass production, day in, day out, for millions of Parisian backsides an' boobs... well, you get the idea.

The area is full of similar winks to the past. Literally just round the corner is Rue de la Ferronnerie (ironworks) where dark deeds happened to Henri IV when Ravaillac attacked and killed him with plaques to prove it.

So now that I've written an entire article on about 5 actual metres of pavement all that remains is to finish off this column down to the end of this more general view showing Rue de la Lingerie in all its diminutive splendour. There, done 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...

© 2012 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and offers always welcome!

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