"Knowing Paris by Its Bridges," by Elaine Sciolino, New York Times, November 2019.
Sometimes, when sleep eludes me in the dark hour before dawn, I make my way to the Pont de la Tournelle, the 400-foot bridge that links the Île Saint-Louis to Paris’s Left Bank. I plant myself at its midpoint, face west and wait. Before me is the skeletal back of Notre-Dame, shrouded in darkness.
I watch as the sky moves from blue-black to deep blue velvet to soft gray, then light blue. The delicate architectural details of the cathedral gradually reveal themselves, until finally, the early morning sun bathes them in warm orange hues.
Elaine Sciolino is an Advisory Council member of the Department of French and Italian and was a Visiting Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton.