In these "Our Neighborhood" posts I will give you an introduction to some of the notable attractions of our neighborhood here in the 12th arrondissement. First up is the Coulée Verte (green course in French). It's pronounced something like this: coo-lay vairt.
The Coulée Verte is a raised greenway that was created on the top of an old railroad viaduct. It runs for about three miles, from just east of the Bastille toward the Bois de Vincennes park. On top Parisians enjoy walking, running, exercising, and simply relaxing amidst beautiful green space in the middle of the city. In the arched spaces under Coulée Verte reside all sorts of amazing artisan shops. Priscilla's favorite is the Confiture Parisienne, a shop where they make their own jams and Madeleines.
My goal this trip is to walk the entire Coulée Verte. My family likes to tease me about my Coulée Verte obsession, mimicking the way I say it, in an annoyingly exaggerated manner. As I like to say, I am a walking fool, and in my mind there's no better place in Paris to get in a good long walk than the Coulée Verte. Our flat is only a few blocks away from one of the entrances. The last photo in the slideshow below shows the elevated view of the street that our building is on. Ours is the building on the right with the angled front.
Late day yesterday I got out for a walk on the Coulée Verte during the golden hour. On my return leg I walked by what I thought was a figurine of a pigeon that had been placed on one of the bushes, as it was completely still. When I walked right next to the pigeon, no more than two feet away, it moved! That sure gave me a start. After collecting myself, I then slowly walked back toward the gutsy pigeon with camera in hand to see if I could get a good photo. This was as close as I got. I was about three feet away when I made this photo. Immediately after I pressed the shutter button the pigeon flew away.
So this is the Coulée Verte, one of my favorite spaces in Paris. I don't recall where I first read of it. The Coulée Verte is the type of place that tends not to make it into most guidebooks. Maybe that's why I don't tend to use them anymore.
I think for my next "Our Neighborhood" post I will cover the Aligre Market, another place that is a bit off the beaten path, but well worth a visit if you want to see authentic Paris.