This, friends, was my favorite part of Paris. La Promenade Plantee, or Coulee verte Rene Dumont, is a green space and artists community. The green space, started in the 1980's, is built on top of out of service rail tracks.
It's a brilliant use of space. Promenade Plantee has been used here in the U.S. as the inspiration for the High Line and Bloomingdale Line projects. Mike and I walked and enjoyed the High Line during a trip to New York a couple years ago, and I've been eager to visit the park that inspired the project since.
In addition to its well established plant life, Promenade Plantee is home to numerous artisan shops. The shops, built within the viaducts below the tracks, house book binders, instrument makers, jewlers, and FABRIC. Yes. FABRIC.
During our fabric shopping excursion, our hostess and guide Barbara introduced us to Mahlia Kent. Mahlia Kent is a weaver and textile artist who supplies numerous fashion houses. The Paris store front, located within the viaducts of the park, stocks remnant cuts and excess bolts of these textiles. THEY ARE AMAZING.
If you're the sort of souvenir fabric shopper who likes to buy things she can't find at home, this shop is an absolute must! Meg, Liz and I all found treasures here during our first stop, and we all went back for seconds.
After our first walk through the Promenade Plantee, Mike and I returned here for training runs. It was an incredibly peaceful place to run. Starting at the beginning of the park, near the Bastille Opera, it's possible to run an uninterrupted 6 mile loop. An added bonus is that you can reward yourself for a job well done with Starbucks on the walk back to the train. 'To-go" coffee was one of the most difficult things to find while we vacationing, which made it even more of a treat! Starbucks was one of the only options we found for a cup on the run, and even that seemed to be a half-strength watered down version of what we're used to. I digress.
If you're not a runner, I know the idea of running while on vacation seems strange. But, we were very excited to discover the park. Urban running can be very frustrating between dodging pedestrians and cars and frequent stop/starts for traffic signals.
If you are a runner, you might also be interested to know about LRP. They're a fun group! Mike and I joined LRP for an 18km (11mile) run from the center of Paris to Versailles, one of the most memorable experiences of our trip.
Enough about running, you're here for sewing. This dress is another of the McCall's 6696 shirtwaist dresses I made to bring. For this version, I used a vintage fabric purchased at an estate sale. It's 100% cotton with screened flower bunches printed on top of a gingham check. The instant I saw this fabric, I knew it wanted to be a shirtwaist. It sat on the shelf for two years waiting for me to build my skills and confidence. It's well worth the wait. This dress is everything I hoped it would be. :-D