Pont Neuf (New Bridge) is Paris’ oldest bridge, completed in 1607 after some thirty years of construction. Over thirty bridges in Paris have since been built. Centuries passing, the Seine has flowed beneath them, carrying with it rumours of love lost and found, locked and unlocked, carried away and reborn. In French, la Seine has a vowel sound that rhymes with aime (meaning he/she loves). Insanely, English speakers still insist on making it rhyme with sane. Regardless of pronunciation, the Seine and its bridges represent romance in the minds of millions.
During the summer of 2017, a tall, dark-haired American could be spotted by the Seine at the crack of every dawn, between 4:56am and 6:54am, depending on the month. In Paris, it is an hour known to few creatures other than rats and nightclubbers. There is much speculation about why was he there, unfailing, at each dawn. More importantly, record remains of his passing: a daily photo of each distinctive dawn, reminding us of that special energy that dwells in new beginnings. Selected photos have been compiled into this inspired 4-minute video.
Here is what this American photographer said about his photo series "Sunrise on the Seine":
Every sunrise is a new beginning,
to love again what you are becoming:
the Seine, to feel the life through you flowing,
the Bridge, to stand between shores unmoving.
On one of those mornings, at the very end of July, another American in Paris was heard playing a violin under the Pont du Carrousel by the Louvre. Since he has not been spotted since, this too remains something of a mystery. Although he was no professional violinist, his performance at dawn on July 29th, 2017 was also recorded to share with you. He only had this to say about the music, entitled "Meditation" by Jules Massenet:
As the Seine flows, so I move my bow.
Seven years earlier, yet another American in Paris started a company called Paris-Sharing.com, encouraging local Parisians to rent their homes to tourists while they were away. That concept soon became the biggest thing in town, although it came to be called Airbnb (by a team of Americans in America). Great societal upheaval resulted. The media went haywire. Coercive legislation arose to smash entrepreneurial dreams and protect the hotel industry against the inevitable tide of new consumer preferences.
Why would an unseasoned entrepreneur with no experience in the yet-to-be-invented sharing economy keep fighting for Paris-Sharing.com against all odds? This is what he said:
I want our guests to wake up to a sunrise on the Seine, in a place that feels like home. Then I want them to return to their home, and never feel the same again.
Now, for the first time, these three Americans meet, doing what they love, here in this very blog entry. They have a message for you. Love whatever it is that you are doing. If you cannot love it, find what it is that you can love and do it. Once you learn what that feels like, let the feeling expand it until it fills your life. You will ultimately come to love your life entirely.
If you don’t know where to find this feeling, Paris is a perfect place to start...at sunrise on the Seine.