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Fabric of Paris

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

Four years of Fabric of Paris

Thank you for reading!

Here's to the road ahead: looking back on four years of Fabric of Paris

Sunday was the fourth anniversary of the launch of Fabric of Paris. As such, I spent some time poring over the archives to find five of my favourite articles.

If you like what I write, there are a few simple ways you can support the blog. Firstly, if you’re not already signed up for free email updates, make sure to never miss a post by doing so. You will only be emailed whenever new articles appear, which is currently averaging about once a month. Secondly, get in touch! It always warms my heart to know there are people enjoying what I write. Thirdly, word of mouth is the best tool I have for growing readership. If you enjoy reading Fabric of Paris, there’s a strong chance you know someone who would also enjoy it, but hasn’t discovered it yet. Why not share your favourite article with them?

Thank you for reading! On with the list:

Best in category: public transport

Public transportation is one of Fabric of Paris’s central preoccupations. We’ve covered metro line extensions, future cable cars, long-lost railways and failed innovations. But one topic I’ve embraced perhaps more than any other is trams. And with cause: the tale of the rise, fall and resurrection of the tramways of Île-de-France is as a fascinating one. As such, my favourite transport piece had to be from the series on that history. Choosing among them wasn’t easy, but I think part 5, on the various attempts to electrify the network, is the best so far. Of course, the story is nowhere near over – you can expect part 9 soon.

Most obscure

Occasionally, Fabric of Paris ventures into the realm of street furniture, from water fountains to clocks. But I had a lot of fun diving into the story of the long-defunct fire alarm call box, a device for calling the fire brigade.

Most atypical of Fabric of Paris

A couple of years back, I ventured off this blog’s beaten track to mark Allhallowtide with an article on the morbid spectacle of the Paris morgue. It’s a piece of grim history that I like to re-share every year.

The article I had the most fun preparing

This isn’t an easy choice. I wouldn’t write anything at all if I didn’t enjoy it. But a few articles required more preparation than others. For one, I rode a new tram line. For another, I spent the best part of a day hiking to Versailles. But nothing can beat the experience of riding a series of tiny buses around various neighbourhoods of Paris.

The article I’m proudest of

Again, there are a few options here. I’ve put a lot of work into the tramway history, and I’m happy with how it’s going. My piece on how Paris is making life better for children felt more important than most of what I write. But the article I’m proudest to have written is about the last wall of Paris. The motorway which holds the city in a chokehold. Of course, I’m talking about the boulevard périphérique. This is a story which tells us a lot about how the city’s priorities have changed over time; about how decisions taken many decades ago continue to haunt the lives of many of our most vulnerable citizens. But it’s also a story which continues to evolve.

Do you have a favourite Fabric of Paris post? Why not make my day by letting me know what it is? Or why not moderately improve someone else’s day by sharing it with them? In any case, as ever, thank you for reading. Here’s to many more years.

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