Paris - Perspectives
( Originally Published 1921 )
There is no city in the world where so many streets have prows to them, and seem to be bearing down upon you, as here in Paris. Call them "flat-iron" blocks if you will; they are ships at anchor.
Some of them loom up out of space like the one between the rue de la Lune and the rue de Beauregard so well named : street of the Moon and street of the Gracious Glance which meet above the street level of the Boulevard of Good Tidings (Bonne Nouvelle).
You will catch many glimpses of these ships which make up the fleet called Paris; they are always old and always high, for the houses of Medieval Paris were four and five stories and more; in the 13th century they had gables; in the 17th they took on mansard roofs. There were more pepper-pot towers then than now; the Porte St Martin and the Porte St Denis were both flanked by towers when they were first built.
Climb to some high spot in Paris and count the church spires. More of them are to be seen in the center of Paris, which is old, than in the new and outlying quarters. When you walk in Paris look for the perspectives at the cross-streets; there are streets which mount and streets which descend most surprisingly. But above all, consider those streets which bear down upon you like ships. They are an Armada which has never been conquered.