Paris In Progress
The lobby of the new Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou.
Paris in Progress
Monday, October 6, 2003
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,
La Nuit Blanche must have been a huge success, because the lines to all the exhibitions were too long to stand in and the crowd in front of the Hôtel de Ville was packed like sardines. It was magnificently lit, as we expected, but my camera’s eye couldn’t capture it as my own.
At half past midnight, much of the crowds descended into the Métro before the last train left the station…the only line operating all night was the 14 (clearly because no driver runs it who’d have to paid overtime), and there was virtually no transportation to the 7th, 15th and 16th arrondissements…guess the bourgeois were just out of luck. It must be a real challenge for the organizers of an event of this nature to get cooperation from the RATP!
What impressed me more this weekend was a visit to Warren Trabant, who is currently convalescing at Paris’ newest hospital…L’Hôpital Européen George Pompidou. Warren, you might recall, is the Chairman Emeritus of our Paris Key Club and original author (with his late wife, Jean) of our newest publication, “Paris Confidential.” I wanted to see how he was faring and to bring him a copy “hot off the press” — as I knew he would be pleased to see its big and elegant format. He was!
I hadn’t been to the Balard stop of the Métro 8 line in the southwestern corner of the 15th arrondissement in years…and what a “grande surprise!” Next to the Parc Citroën where the Citoën once had a factory, (which is worth a visit if you haven’t already been), is now a huge portion of land devoted to the Hôpital Européen George Pompidou. It’s made of glass and steel, set back from the street reflecting a large bright green lawn. The views from the rooms stunning…of the park and all of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur.
Despite measures launched by the French government to restrict healthcare spending in the long run, the rationalization and restructuring process of hospital services in France led to a number of new modern hospitals replacing smaller outdated facilities. Hôpital Européen George Pompidou is a key example of this. It’s had some notoriety, even in such a short time…a technique to rebuild failing hearts using stem cell implants was pioneered by physicians at this hospital and in the summer of 2001, a few patients were diagnosed with Legionella before discovering that thirty of the 120 of the air-conditioning conductors were contaminated with the bacteria.
Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou
20 r Leblanc
1 56 09 20 00
Still, it’s Paris in progress…a Paris most tourists never see, and with luck, even we residents won’t. I say this with a hint of sarcasm, as paying a visit to an ailing friend is never fun, nor is being one yourself.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]
P.S. For those of you are interested…yes, my daughter achieved getting her temporary Carte de Résident which enables her to get the permanent one lasting 10 years) once she passes the OMI manditory medical exam.
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