"Infotainment? What the hell are you talking about?"

Books, bridges and bees

A short architectural excursion outside of the center:

Whenever I feel a bit down, I tend to walk around to get a clear head again (it doesn't really work, but at least I'm out in the fresh air). So yesterday I decided spontaneously to go down to the 'Très Grande Bibliothèque', the 'Very Big Library', for no good reason at all.

The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) was built under the presidency of Francois Mitterrand. Designed to be accessible to all, using the most modern data transfer technologies, which could be consulted from a distance, and which would collaborate with other European libraries, but, surprisingly, the library does not maintain a wireless network.
It was built by Dominique Perrault and completed in 1996.

'The new complex consists of a large esplanade and four identical L-shaped towers, whose form recalls the shape of an open book. This architecture was controversial; many considered it too costly, and not very suitable to the storage of book collections. Indeed, wooden boards had to be set up at the windows to protect the books from the light. Those who work in it are not happy with the extremely long distances they have to walk to reach basic functions; and it features a landscaped garden pit at its center that cannot be enjoyed except with one's eyes.

Additionally, despite being a library financed at great cost to the public and located in a neighborhood dominated by social housing, none of the material in the library is accessible by the public without paying a fee. Those wishing to visit the library for a single day will be required to pay a fee of 3.30 Euros. Admission to the reading rooms in the research library is restricted to those over the age of 18 and proof of academic or professional research activities is required. Readers’ cards are issued "after an individual interview with a librarian."'

The interior courtyard park looks quite sad, with most of the trees having to be maintained by fixation cords, so that they won't fall

In 2006, the architect Dietmar Feichtinger designed a sophisticated footbridge across the Seine, which was named after Beauvoir. The bridge features feminine curves and connects the Library to the Bercy Gardens.

I spent quite a lot of time sitting on a bench at the bridge, just staring at the river front and passing metros on the nearest elevated metro line.

The Cinémathèque Francaise in a building by Frank Gehry, originally built to house the no more existing American Cultural Center. The cinémathèque hosts the largest archive of films, movie documents, and film-related objects in the world.

What a relief to finally find some green! I was in need for some trees. I was even lucky enough to keep my hay fever under control for once!

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    I am Cedric, discoverer of things that would go unnoticed in the streets of Paris, historic haven of fashionistas and city of lights ('lights' as in 'enlightenment', not street lights).
    But seriously: I'm an expat from Luxembourg (the country, not the garden), living in the center of Paris (hence 'Paris 2nd arrondissement'), and currenlty studying architectural history...

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