Saturday, December 10, 2005

Christmas lights on the Champs Elysées


They call it "the most beautiful avenue in the world" (I bet there are many!), but call me spoiled, I am so used to it that I don't even pay attention anymore. Last night though, because of all the Christmas lights and everything, I could not help but take a picture thinking that maybe, just maybe, you would enjoy the view (I did!)... For your information, the big pole in the background is an Obelisk (L'Obélisque) and it was given to France in 1829 by Mehemet Ali, Vice King of Egypt. The photo was taken from the top of the Champs Elysées, near the Arc de Triomphe.

25 comments:

  1. Lovely! Thanks, Eric!

    I have noticed that, though they are later than the US timetable for holiday decorations, the lights are really starting to come out. Last night I found new blue lights and white snowflakes hanging in the Place d'Italie--almost a new thing to discover every day. Kind of like opening each door of the Advent Calendar--every day there seems to be a new treat!

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  2. A wonderful sight Eric. Thank you. Some might even say that the Obelisque in this photo resembles the Washington Monument in D.C., but this is much more interesting. How did you avoid getting run over by the traffic?

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  3. I'm even worse that you Eric: I DON'T think the Champs Elysées is particularly beautiful! It's now just an enormous rich-people's extravaganza, apart from the McDonalds and Quick hamburger places and the cinemas. The traffic is omnipresent and there are just millions of tourists there all the time - hardly romantic. Call me cynical, but we both know there are a lot more beautiful places in Paris than this big thoroughfare! Nice picture though!

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  4. One of my favorite sites at this time of the year in Paris. Thanks for the great photo!

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  5. I still find the Champs Elysée impressive, but I agree with SAB that it is overun by expensive stores and too many tourists. I prefer strolling around Le Marais, which I find a much more delightful area of Paris.

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  6. It is a cool pictures but i agree with everybody saying that there is so many more beautiful places in the city. Thank you for your site Eric by the way! I stayed in Paris for one month this summer, visiting and doing the cours florent(un cours de theatre) and I loved the city so much and miss it so much!! So visiting your site is a way to escape my routine and be in paris again...merci!

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  7. Wow that is breathtaking, I'm sure even more so in person. I love looking at all of your photo's, I've always wanted to go to Paris.

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  8. It's true that when you have to stay stuck in traffic every time you drive up or down the Avenue,
    the charm tends to fade away. Same thing, I suppose, when you have to fight your way through
    the masses of walking tourists. Also true, I suppose, that many of the expensive stores lining the
    avenue are not that interesting, although there is (or used to be) a music store with an impressive
    selection, there, that was totally worth the trip, not too far from the Lido, and the Pub Renault, on
    the other side, was a totally cool place to hang out years ago - not sure if it's still there or quite
    the same thing, now.

    Personally, I think the Champs Elysees and its surrounding areas (especially towards the bottom
    of the Avenue) are gorgeous. Plus, no matter how you feel about the tourists or the traffic, you
    have to admit that the design of this avenue is very impressive.

    To tell the truth, I was kind of hoping to find this very picture on your blog before the end of the
    holiday season, but night pictures being what they are, I wasn't sure what it would end up looking like! So, well done, Eric, and thank you very much for taking this picture for us! I'm sure there are many people drooling all over it as I type right now, because after all, it really is a typical Paris landmark.

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  9. Les Champs Elysées are really gorgeous with all the Christmas lights indeed. Paris is magical in december, je ne manque jamais de passer quelques jours en décembre à Paris, c'est magique.

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  10. Well, I come down on the anti- elysian fields side, I'm afraid. But then, I've been to Paris more times than I can count but never been up the Eiffel tower, so what do know? I can't even remember the name of the restaurant that the name of the restaurant I used to eat in for 5F a three course meal (wine included - it was in the guinness book of records). Marais has got a bit too commericalised for me, too. Ah well, I'm on the way to being a grumpy old man.

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  11. ....the name of the restaurant I used to eat in for 5F

    Wonder if it was the Petit Vatel, on Rue Lobineau, behind the Marché St Germain. I date back to the Paris of anciens francs, and in those days the P'tit Vatel was presided over by Monsieur Berger and his huge cast iron stove. There was no menu, but 500Fr was about the price of a good meal plus wine. The restaurant still exists but the stove is gone and I feel certain that Monsieur Berger is, as they say in France, "smoking mallows by their roots" (hint on understanding this fine piece of morbid slang: mallows are frequently found in graveyards).

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  12. It's beautiful! I love it.

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  13. I loved the picture of the Champ Elysee as I remember when my friends Vickie and Neal took me for a ride there one year. I am very jealous and wish I could be there with you.

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  14. SAB, I'm glad the champs Elysées are, again, full of expensive stores (the new Louis Vuitton building is really a must) . I remember, not such a long time ago, when you would find more sex shops and (well still now) very "cheap" and ugly restaurants and, really, the magic wasn't there anymore.

    Tomate Farcie : "Je vous parle d'un temps, que les moins de vingt ans, ne peuvent pas connaître…", as used to sing Aznavour !!! It was Lido Musique and has been killed by La Fnac and Virgin many years ago. Maybe more than 20 years !
    Yes, it was a very nice place (sigh… !)

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  15. every year, I am startled by this beautiful sight. thanks for reminding me that I have to go to Champs Elysées!

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  16. gg: thanks for that information, I didn't know! I still have a matchbook my parents gave me following their visit there sometime in the early or mid-80's. I have been out in the States for a while so there is a lot I don't know about Paris anymore.

    The impression I get during my visits to Paris through the years is that the City seemed to remain pretty much the same throughout the 80's but then one day, I came back and everything seemed to have changed, they had built new buildings and renovated entire areas while other areas had fallen in ways I would never have imagined in a million years.

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  17. I walked there yesterday night for the first time and I was...
    disappointed!
    Like "thats all they've done?!"
    Am I being crazy or were we used to some more?
    ;)

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