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Fabric of Paris

Stories of the streets, railways and buildings of the most beautiful city in the world

One year of Fabric of Paris

Thank you for reading!

Many happy return journeys: looking back on the first year of Fabric of Paris

This week marks the first anniversary of Fabric of Paris. Indeed, I published my first post 52 weeks ago today.

I created Fabric of Paris as an outlet for my love for the city I live in, a love which I hope bleeds through into my writing. Working on this blog has been a lot of fun, and I’ve learned a lot: about the origin stories of some of the city’s parks; about some of the history behind the layout and names of its streets; about Paris’s street furniture; and much more.

A stretch of the Petite Ceinture in the 13th arrondissement, now a park
The Petite Ceinture, a disused railway, has cropped up in a number of Fabric of Paris articles, including the first. This stretch in the 13th arrondissement has been turned into a park.
Guilhem Vellut [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

I hope that on these pages I’ve managed to share my enthusiasm for this wonderful city and its rich history and fascinating infrastructure. For the first few months I managed to put out a new article every week, but that went haywire around the time of the first lockdown. I’ve got so many ideas that I hope to try to increase the output once again, though I won’t promise weekly posts.

If you are a regular reader – or if you just discovered Fabric of Paris but you like what you see – please let me know. I’m still relatively new to writing regularly for an audience, and every time someone gets in touch to say they’ve read and appreciated something I’ve written it feels absolutely wonderful. And please don’t hesitate to share posts that you think might interest those around you!

The year’s best articles

The year’s most popular posts were about the incredible stories behind transport projects which never saw the light of day. Of these, three in particular stand out: Aramis, an attempt at passenger rapid transit that fell victim to its inherently contradictory aims; Aérotrain, a hovertrain concept that nearly ended up transporting commuters to La Défense but ultimately failed to outshine the conventional railway; and SK, the tale of the local authorities pouring money into an untested new technology to serve an unbuilt business park. I really enjoyed researching for these three stories, which surely have enough intrigue and drama to fascinate even those with little interest in transport.

Two other popular posts were around the new year: a look back at the major transport developments of the 2010s, and then a look forward at the next decade’s plans. There are some big things happening, including the doubling of the metro network to open up the suburbs. I’m excited to follow these developments over the next few years, and share them with readers here.

Apart from these, my personal favourites from the year are about the bridges of Paris: my possibly controversial picks for the best bridges over the Seine, and a selection from among the city’s many that don’t cross the river.

Tunnel under construction
In 2016, two tunnel boring machines began work on the northbound extension of metro line 14, set to open next month. This is just one of the many exciting transport developments scheduled for the 2020s, which you'll be able to read about in these pages.
Yann Caradec [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

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I would never have launched Fabric of Paris without the inspiration of other transport and infrastructure blogs. In particular:

Thanks for joining me for the ride! I’ll see you in a week or two for the next post, about Paris’s first tramways.

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