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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Missing the Paris Metro

Friday, February 20, 2015

There are times I miss the Paris Metro. 
When it's cold, or rainy, or I'm too tired to drive, 
I wish for a metro (subway) system where I live. 
A system like the Paris Metro linked 
to a high-speed rail system to whisk me away 
to Austin or, even better, to New Orleans, 
as well as transporting me to nearby groceries, church, shopping. 

In truth, the main reason I miss the Paris Metro 
is because it is in 

P * A * R * I * S 

Now, I'm missing the Paris Metro another way. 

I miss the 3'x3' metal Paris Metro 3-D map I sold in my last 
French Country Christmas Event. 

Have you ever given away or sold something you miss 
after it's gone and you wonder if you should have kept it? 

With a black background, white lettering, and metal wires 
bent to form three dimensional routes of the Paris Metro, 
the artwork made a perfect board on which to hang cards 
and vintage French documents.  

I envisioned it above an office desk holding 
notices, pamphlets, maps, and design ideas,  
after the holiday cards were taken down. 

Or above a chest of drawers in a living area without 
anything hanging on it, just an uncluttered piece of art. 

Wouldn't it be wonderful for the map to be within sight for close studying 
and then to gaze away to reminisce about those 
beguiling Metro stops in Paris? 

Solférino, Saint Germain des Prés, Luxembourg, Tuileries, Pyramides, 
Palais Royal Musée du Louvre, Madeleine, Opéra, Concorde, Cité 

Source - Wikipedia

Solférino was the Metro stop I took on my first visit to the Musée d'Orsay. 

Solférino opened November 5, 1910 and is one of the last Metro stops 
to retain the original Nord-Sud Company design.  

Later Metro stops are identified with street lamps and billboards. 
Ledru-Rollin is a small stop, first opened in 1931. 

Across the street is a papeterie where I spent many happy hours. 

In the background is winged Liberty in the Place de la Bastille, 
the most symbolic place for Parisian political protests. 

Underground, the Metro stops are beautiful, and I love looking at their designs. 
There may be graffiti, but I do not remember seeing any in the 
more than 25 years I've traveled to France. 
I remember the first time I saw the Metro stop beneath the Louvre 
in which there were museum-looking pieces in recessed niches 
all along the wall of the station. 

All of the Metro stations have individual personalities filled with 
designs connected to their namesakes and arrondissements. 
Clad in copper, the Arts et Metiérs station is designed to resemble 
a submarine reminiscent of the science fiction works of Jules Vernes. 

Opened in October 1904, the Arts et Metiérs stop was redesigned in 1994 
as part of the bicentary celebration of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. 

The city of Paris Coat of Arms located throughout the city are similar, but not 
exactly the same to each other or to this one in the Hôtel de Ville Metro station 
located underneath the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall).  

Tuileries is the first station that I remembered how to get to without help from a guide. 
It is probably my single favorite Metro station because the exit leads to  
the sidewalk adjacent to the Tuileries gardens that lead to the Louvre. 

Seeing the left wing of the Louvre as soon as reaching 
the top of the exit stairs is always exciting. 

Reading the names of the Metro stops and running my fingers along 
the metal lines bring memories of beautiful Paris and its
beautiful Metro system. 

Memories of traveling with students, friends, and family 
are filled with laughing, nervous boarding a Metro car, 
counting the number of stops, and watching the 
diagrams of the Metro line's stops above the doors, 
and then anxiously getting off the car before the doors close 
and the Metro zooms off to its next destination 
as we checked our group to make sure everyone 
made it off. 

Missing the Paris Metro, both the real thing and 
the 3-D metal reproduction... 

Missing the way the 3-D Metro map holds cards for the season... 

The raised metal lines outlining the Metro system are the perfect place to clip 
cards, photos, French postcards, 

and mementos of Paris found at a flea market. 


If you enjoyed this Moment in France about 
the Paris Metro, you may also enjoy more 

Want to learn more about the beauty of other Paris Metro stations? 
See From Paris With Love for great photos with detailed descriptions. 



  1. Oh, Paris and all of France for that matter, is one big museum. Le Metro is an experience in itself, not just a mode of quickly getting from A to B; the people, the waiting, the destinies...where are they all going? But only in Paris does all of that even seem enchanting.....lovely share today dear Judith! I hope you are well....Anita

  2. Oh this is magnifique! What a unique piece of art I don't think I could part with it! We so enjoyed getting around Paris by metro (My techy husband installed a Paris metro app on our phones so we could type in the destination and Voila-it would give you which lines to take) I love the people watching and several times we turned down a tunnel to find a makeshift orchestra playing classical music!

  3. Beautiful map! I grew up in Madrid and we have a Metro system just like the one in Paris. It was my form of transportation all the time and I sure took it for granted. Many times now I wish we had that little luxury of being able to go all around the city without having to drive a car. Great post! :) Have a great weekend. Maria

  4. Judith,
    I'd miss the Paris Metro board too. We are going to Paris in May for the 60th celebration of the Citroën D. Only we are going not our Citroën D which will be in our garage. I know sounds strange we get to go but what is being embraced and celebrated will remain home. C'est la vie.
    The Metro system is nothing short of enchanting and in itself a memorable experience.

  5. What a lovely reminder of the metro stations. What fun it was...even when we got lost.

  6. Judith, I can see why you are feeling pangs of regret. This is an unusual piece, and like you, the Paris Metro holds a special spot in the memories of my heart. Your post is stellar, as always. I'm off to revisit your other ones. Merci!

  7. Oh Judith, i always enjoy all things French here with you. Your travels invite à planning of a French Holiday in Paris. So Love all you inspire.

    Will see you soon.



  8. Gorgeous photos, as always. Thank you so much for sharing! ~Amy

  9. Dreaming with you here...I rode the Metro for the first time on Bastille Day in July of 1969. The cars were old and so charming. It was my very first time travelling under ground. I love that map. It would look amazing in our house. You were so kind to let go of it so another could feel the magic of the Metro.
    With thoughts, prayers and

  10. Love it Judith! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!

  11. I am first time on Your blog.My son leaving in Paris and I am be there and travelling of the Metro.But not smell good in the train.But I love to see everything in Paris.Great city with too much charm.Kiss from Serbia,

  12. Hi Judith, love seeing your wonderful photos of the Metro, and that amazing Metro sign! thanks so much for joining in at SYS!


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