Avenue Sully-Prudhomme

Last week, I spent two days exploring the glorious streets of Paris in the emerging bloom of spring. As I wound my way through the city’s arrondissements toward the Eiffel Tower, I serendipitously stumbled upon this street sign honoring the French poet Sully Prudhomme.

I’d never even heard of the Nobel laureate until reading Xavier Le Pichon’s essay “Ecce Homo.” In it, Le Pichon shares Prudhomme’s poem Le Vase Brisé (“The Broken Vase”), which his mother taught him, and relates the poem to his mother’s struggles with Alzheimer’s disease.

We commissioned Jean Luc Garneau to recite Prudhomme’s poem, both in English and French. I highly recommend listening.

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City of Ligh*T*. Not Light*S*.

That 1954 edition of the MUTCD contained another interesting addition: the STOP sign’s more laid-back little brother, YIELD. The notion of yielding the right of way had obviously been around for some time, but until 1950 there wasn’t a sign that directed drivers when they should be yielding.

Street signs do really make a good landmark. Plus every city must have them to know premises and area locations.

We can be familiarized with some unforgettable street signs and landmarks. Where they are the mute witness of the historical story of that particular place.