APRIL IN PARIS

Sing this jaunty tune as you stroll across the oldest Seine-spanning bridge in Paris. Completed in 1607, Pont Neuf became a perpetual fair of jugglers, tumblers, clowns, & barking hawkers who inundated passers-by with handbills advertising everything from basic dentistry & beauty products to crystal eyes & cures for consumption. By the time this 1760 view was engraved, the pomp & spectacle of commerce & street performers had largely been replaced by slave traders & pickpockets. While Pont Neuf’s seedy reputation sent strolling sweethearts & curiosity seekers elsewhere, the so-called Bridge of Memories remains. In an April fog at midnight, some Parisians say, the delighted howls of that bygone era still sweep across the silent Seine