Today our field trip was to Villette/Cite de la musique, which are both in the 19th arrondissement. Of course, the day started freezing cold and then as soon as we started our trip, the weather completely changed and it became unbelievably sunny. Well, Mom, you were right, always dress in LAYERS. Which today meant wear my kitten tank top (I got some chuckles over that) beneath layers of tops which I didn’t think I would be taking off.
I asked my teacher, “so is the 19th arrondissement a ghetto-y arrondissement?” She looked at me for a moment, but then said, “yes, I suppose so.” The arrondissement (Paris is composed of 20 for those who don’t know. And the outer ones were added later in the years, so the buildings are more modern and industrial, also cheaper for people to live in). Although according to my mother, a ghetto is defined by the presence of graffiti and gats (her words, not mine). So technically, this is not a ghetto. In case any of you were wondering.
This is a canal that runs through the arrondissement. It was created in order to move wood, heavy materials, and some foods (I like to imagine a huge boat of brie floating down the canal). Interestingly, the canal was built from the beginning of the canal into the Seine, which usually occurs the other way around.
So here’s Villette’s history: It used to be a place for slaughtering cows. The cows would walk to the stalls and then be killed and distributed to all of the hungry Parisians! However, along came the 1960s with refrigeration! So then they needed to turn this place into something else…so in 1980 they had a competition where around 460 architect teams entered their ideas into a contest. And the new design is now modern and contemporary! It features little different theme gardens (a bamboo garden, a hide and go seek garden), folies each featuring different themes (one has a Quick-Belgian version of McDonald’s), and sprawling lawns with various architectural pieces!
This shows to the left, the largest Science Museum in Europe and to the right (the big, shiny dome), Europe’s biggest 360 movie theater.
This is one of the folies with a wonderful bovine mural in a tribute to its history. After we finished with Villette, we went to Moooosique de la Cite (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
This is the Cite de la musique, where various artists come and play from all over.
An awesome fountain that was originally created for animals to drink out of.
All in all, a great field trip, although I’m realllly looking forward to the Latin Quarter!