Saturday, 28 October 2017

eau la la

To impart a bit of public luxury, the city of Paris is expanding its campaign of effervescent water (eau pétillante) fountains and will soon be installing at least one public convenience in each of the twenty arrondissements.
Though more subdued and functional than the historic Wallace drinking fountains that are scattered throughout the City of Lights (so called for being the first metropolis to be illuminated by night) the new ones are a modern complement to those iconic symbols of Paris cast by sculptor Charles-Auguste Lebourg at the behest of the eponymous philanthropist, Sir Richard Wallace, to make these watering places to supplement the utilities destroyed by the Franco-Prussian War and make drinking water as safe a beverage of choice so people weren’t expected to repair to alcohol, like since the Dark Ages when booze was the only non-lethal thing to imbibe, a little carbonation goes a long way. Expatriate Wallace gladly credited France with all his good fortune and wanted to repay his adopted home with every honour but also was sort of a teetotaler. It is hoped that this nudge will reduce plastic bottle use plus the need to shuffle bottled water around the world. Despite the off-putting news recently that there was a trace of Legionnaires’ Disease causing bacteria in my apartment building’s plumbing but it was immediately redressed, I’d gladly too drink water from the tap, so long as it was sparkling.