Statue in the Sky

Flying statue at Nation

Today the sun is shining and statues hang suspended in the sky. If that sounds like hyperbole, believe me, I speak the truth.

For the first time in awhile the clouds have parted and full warmth can be found in the sun. Paris has always struck me as a bit of a cruel lover with her weather. After a long, hard winter, we were teased with signs of spring. Quickly enough, however, the frost returned, wool coats brought back out of the closet. For no other city would we put up with such shenanigans. Paris is beautiful even when it’s gray; you swear allegiance to her even as you shiver. But by mid-May, enough is enough.

Saint Louis' rightful place

So out for a walk in all this glory. It’s market day near Place de la Nation and another happy surprise awaited. Nation is not one of those places people think much about when they conjure images of Paris. True, it’s not exactly a happening part of town – you certainly wouldn’t come out of your way to see it – but I like the wide roundabout, the residential neighborhoods surrounding, no tourists for miles around. Two tall statues welcome you from the Cours de Vincennes.

Only these striking statues of Saint Louis have been under renovation for quite some time now – taken off the tops of their columns, the columns hidden behind scaffolding.

Today as I walked by, however, I saw this situation finally finding its remedy. Saint Louis dangled in the sky, the gallant green (from age) figure being airlifted to its high resting place. I hold out hope we can finally move on to the business of enjoying Paris in all her (summer) glory. These things have been missing too long – the sun, these statues – but now they have returned.

An oasis in the center of the roundabout, Place de la Nation

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10 Responses to “Statue in the Sky”


  1. 1 Alison May 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Looks like a lovely little green-space! Spring has been a tease here too. A few hot evenings eating on the terrace and then cold, cold and more cold. I am REALLY ready for summer.

    • 2 parisimperfect May 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm

      I know! This cold has definitely not helped my mood. I am *so* ready for summer. Call me naive or a misguided optimist, but I’m going to say that THIS TIME we’re finally headed towards warm weather :)

  2. 3 Res May 20, 2010 at 12:22 am

    It was so much fun finally meeting you this evening! Hopefully we’ll be able to put this glorious weather to a good use over a proper blogger-chick meet-up!

  3. 5 pariskarin May 20, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Amen to your relief at warmer weather. I’m glad the statues are back. :) Looking at scaffolding ad-nauseam is no fun.

    I’m going to have to check out Nation sometime. It’s at the end of the line I take a lot, Line 2, and I have been meaning to travel the circle on the Métro from Jaurès to Etoile, then on Line 6 to Nation and back up on Line 2. I heard it is kind of a fun, if long journey. I could hop off at Nation and check it out. (Now I have “do something” echoing in my head, too, lol.)

    • 6 paris (im)perfect May 20, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      Hey Karin. Yeah, there’s not much “to do” at Nation, but it’s worth a look if you’ve never seen it. There are tons of cafes around there, too. L’Eglantine is nice/reliable/tasty and Chez Prosper is always packed, if that’s your sort of thing.

  4. 7 Philip Graham May 20, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks, Sion, for your comment over at Writer Abroad. And I’m glad to discover your website, which I’ve been enjoying.

    I, too, look forward to chatting together during the Vermont residency. See you in June!

    All best, Philip

  5. 9 Adam May 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Sion – I see that this post was picked up by The Paris Blog, and given the title ‘The Nation Dame Returns’. Perhaps that refers to you, because it can’t refer to a statue of…Saint Louis!

    I actually rather like Nation, mainly because I have always lived on this side of Paris. There are quite a lot of historical sites in the area, but also plenty of sites rich with personal histories too!

    • 10 paris (im)perfect May 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm

      Hi Adam,

      I thought the same thing! As you know, though, I don’t name the posts over at the Paris blog. Do you think it’s worth telling Laurie to change it? Of course, I don’t mind being the Dame of Nation if we think it could be spun that way :)

      Yeah, I’m a short walk from Nation so I happen to like it quite a lot. As with many ignored spots in Paris, it’s actually rife with rich stories!


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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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