Literary corner

Need a place to sit down and… I don’t know… read a book?


Want to have your own reading break here? Or need a place to enjoy the gelato you got at Grom? (I haven’t been there yet, but thanks to an online tip, I have another reason to get back to the neighborhood.)

Here’s how to find this fun little hidden corner known as Square Gabriel Pierné:

  • Go to the Pont des Arts (the one that used to be shackled full of love locks until the city took them off).
  • Head toward the big dome (the Institute de France), but veer a bit to the right, slip under a pedestrian archway and come out on the other side.
  • Walk a short block and there you are.


From there, wander the neighborhood and take in some of the many galleries. You’ll find every kind of art, from the sublime to the slightly silly…



On the Pont Notre Dame

Last week, on a nice ramble that touched on portions of the 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 6th and 5th arrondissements, I took this while crossing the Pont Notre Dame. In Paris you hardly need a destination. Just walk around and take it in.


Writing with Rapunzel

What to do with that unused drawbridge tower? How about turn it into a workspace, install a writer in there, throw some “1% for Arts” $$$ at it and see what comes of it.


Hey–that’s not Paris! That’s right, it’s the Fremont Bridge in Seattle. I took this photo on a lovely day in May last year when I spent an afternoon writing along the Ship Canal.

That’s  exactly what my hometown of Seattle is doing with the Fremont Bridge writer in residence program this coming summer. Getting to write in the tower across the bridge deck from neon Rapunzel…how cool is that! The catch? You need to be a published writer and live in or within 100 miles of Seattle. I haven’t been published and I’m currently a few thousands miles away, otherwise I’d be all over this. Want the details? Say no more and click here.

The Fremont Bridge has four control towers, but in this day and age, only the southeast one is used to actually operate the bridge, while the northwest tower now features Rapunzel and the northeast one has been outfitted as a writer’s studio with 360 degree views. (Not sure what’s going on in the mysterious final tower. Maybe the writer who gets this residency will find out.)

This kind of program has been run at least once before. In 2009, Kristen Ramirez was the artist-in-residence and created a temporary sound installation that you can read about here. I’ve heard of being a volunteer lighthouse keeper, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of ordinary mortals getting to work out of a bridge control tower. I wonder if they’ll ever let the lucky writer get to raise and lower the bridge… I mean, what could possibly go wrong…?

(I found about this whole deal here.)