So, have you had enough of Paris-related quotes for a while? We have-although, in general, everything about Paris exhilarates us! But we haven’t had enough of Paris-related series and lists. (As you know if you’ve been following us, or as you can see if you scroll through the past several months’ worth of postings, the quote series was preceded by a list of French inventions and one highlighting Paris and France superlatives: what the city and country do best, most, etc.) Our next series promises to be not only interesting for all our readers but also lucrative for one very well informed, Paris-loving, quick-on-the-draw fan. There will be one question per week for the next ten weeks (most of them concerning the Founding Fathers in Paris, some of them of broader interest). Be the first to send in your complete list of correct answers to all ten, and you will win a Blue Lion Mobile Guides iPad/iPhone “Founding Fathers in Paris Guided Tour” app! Send your complete list by Facebook message (or post it below if you want to share your findings). Ready?
1. Here’s our first question-which, to make matters interesting from the get-go, is a two-question question: Part A: Who was the first American expat in Paris? - Part B: Why didn’t he know he was an American? (Good luck!)
2. Here’s our second question: There is a statue of Thomas Jefferson standing by the Left-Bank entrance to the Léopold Sédar Senghor footbridge (“footbridge” is passerelle in French, evoking the idea of a “little passage”), which is across the street from the Musée d’Orsay, is named after: Léopold Sédar Senghor and used to be called the Solférino footbridge, due to its proximity to the eponymous street. Why was the statue placed at this particular spot?
3. Here’s our third question: The Paris flood of 1910 (see: wikipedia page, especially the pictures) has been called “the centennial flood,” as the Seine had overflowed roughly every hundred years for a while before that one. (If we’re due for another, we’re safer than our forebears, as archives have since been moved to higher ground, walls have been reinforced, insurance companies have developed coverage, etc.) Paris is thus dotted with plaques and engraved walls designating the height of the water at that given spot: sometimes knee-to-waist level and, at points closer to the river, sometimes shoulder level! Where are at least two of these designations located?
4. Here’s our fourth question (another two-part’er): Public trash cans in Paris are either see-through gray-metal barrels containing transparent plastic bags or green-metal pole-&-rim contraptions to which transparent plastic bags are attached (this green matches that of the uniforms worn and carts pushed by the hard-working folks who empty those receptacles, often at dawn). But they didn’t always look like this. Part A: When did these see-through containers appear in Paris? - Part B: Why? (Trashcan in French is poubelle. If you read French and want to know the origin of this word, see: the wikipedia page.)
5. Here’s our fifth question: When he arrived in France in December 1776 (after having signed the Declaration of Independence five months earlier) to ask King Louis XVI for arms, soldiers and, especially, money for the American Revolution, Ben Franklin was one of the most famous men in the world. Considering the lack of Internet and scarcity of newspapers, this is quite a feat! In light of this era in European history, why was he so famous? (HINT: This last sentence contains a wordplay clue to the answer!)
6. Here’s our sixth question: For what is Dr. Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738 – 1814) famous?
7. Here’s our seventh question: Thomas Jefferson served as the U.S.’s second ambassador to France, from 1784 to 1789 (and we all know what happened in France in 1789). When King Louis XVI referred to him as Benjamin Franklin’s replacement in the post, Jefferson retorted, “No one can replace Dr. Franklin. I am merely his successor.” In 1787, Jefferson’s 14-year-old slave Sally Hemings arrived in Paris with his younger daughter, Mary, known as Polly. (Her older sister, Martha-named for her mother and Martha Washington, and known as Patsy-had arrived in Paris with their father.) Sally Hemings’s brother James also accompanied Jefferson to Paris and trained there in the fine art of French cuisine. Both Hemingses returned as slaves with Jefferson to Monticello. But when they were in Paris, Jefferson was obliged to temporarily free them. Why?
8. Here’s our eighth question: Where does the name “Paris” come from?
9. Here’s our ninth question: Name at least two non-Americans (i.e., non-New World colonists/pilgrims/patriots/founders) who were extremely instrumental to victory in the American Revolution.
10. Here’s our final question (at least for this contest-maybe we’ll hold others): What is the oldest continually functioning eatery in Paris (some say in France and some Europe!)?
So there you have it. All ten questions. You have until Monday, November 17, to send in your answers by sending a message on our Facebook Page. We’ll announce the winner, if there is one, and in any case, over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing the answers’ fascinating facts and figures with you. It’s your turn now--to your keyboards!