Sunday, January 15, 2012

Street Signs of Paris

Street signs in Paris are probably the thing most often regarded, sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a frown.  Up, down, up, down - up to the signs, down to the map, up to the signs, down to the....  You get the idea.

So it's natural to sometimes notice more than the name displayed on said sign and to make note, or to take a picture.  Above is a famous and very busy corner of Boulevard du Montparnasse where it meets the Boulevard Raspail; it's the location of many of Paris's most historic grand brasseries and cafés (La Coupole, Le Select, Le Dôme, Le Relais de L'Entrecôte and La Rotonde) and center of artistic Paris life in the early 1900's which blended with the American expat literary scene of that era.  

I found that particular street sign interesting because of the beautiful gold mosaic located directly above the iconic Paris street signage of today. 
For some reason, the sign in the Sixth Arrondissement above also has another above it, but it looks as though it could have been in that wall since Roman times, using the Roman lettering style of "V" to mean "U" in "RUE."  Eh, probably not.
Near l'Eglise Saint Sulpice, above the sign at Rue Henry de Jouvernel is another sign that has been aggressively crossed out, to avoid all confusion.  Good thing.
But look directly behind you to the other side of the same street, and the above is what you see.  And just to make double sure that you're doubly confused, cross the street, look left again, and below is another sign (of an older vintage), with the same name.  I think Férou wins; even Googlemaps agrees.

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