Category Archives: Champs Elysees

Happy New Year, Paris!

Mark and I took the mid-afternoon train on Thursday from London to Paris, arriving just as the City of Light was getting dark. Mark has some business here (hooray!), so we thanked London for her hospitality, kissed her goodbye, and returned to this place that holds so many wonderful memories.

Can I just tell you how happy I am to be back in my favorite city??? I don’t think I have stopped smiling in the two days we have been here. Paris in January is divine-the big winter light is everywhere and the crowds have disappeared. Restaurants that usually require reservations days in advance are happy to offer us a table on short notice. PLUS it’s SALE TIME again! I have virtually no room in my suitcase but I am not opposed to jettisoning all of the clothes I have been wearing non-stop for four months to make space for bargains. Or even for “not quite bargains”. For the first time in several years I don’t know when my next trip to Paris will be, so I might need to take some Paris home with me. And compared with London, everything is a bargain. I think you can see where this is going.

I covered some serious ground yesterday.

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breakfast!

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It’s King Cake time again!

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I stopped by Merci, hoping for bargains.

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Of course I had to go say “bonjour” to the Place des Vosges. It looked a tad woebegone without its leafy green canopies, but still managed to be elegant.

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My favorite fancy hot chocolate spot was sparkly and beautiful.

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With some quick steps I managed to just catch the pink of the sun on the tops of Notre Dame.

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That evening I met Mark and some co-workers at the Mini Palais, one of our favorite places for drinks or dinner. I took the metro, and when I popped up I was pleasantly surprised to find the Champs Elysees still wearing her Christmas best.

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The Christmas vendors were still hawking their wares.

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The Mini Palais sits in a corner of the Grand Palais, and has one of the best terraces in town.

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The food looked almost too pretty to eat.

pumpkin soup with chestnuts

pumpkin soup with chestnuts

the BEST scallops

the BEST scallops

Not a bad day at all.

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Christmas, Grand Palais, Marais, Notre Dame, Paris, Paris dining, Paris in winter, Place de Vosges, Uncategorized

Sunday Morning Walk to the Raspail Market

“Bon dimanche,” as one sometimes hears in France. Or, “happy Sunday”, as one never hears at home. My Sunday began gray and cold, but I was determined to take a long walk and the dreary weather did not deter me. As it turned out, a puffy coat, warm scarf, hat, gloves, and a brisk pace kept me perfectly comfortable. The sun surprised me along the way, (of course it did, seeing as how I hadn’t brought my sunglasses) and the morning developed into a lovely day. I enjoyed my outing so much that I found myself wishing for a walking companion with whom to share my joy. Being solo, I opted to take a lot of pictures, and I hope they will communicate some of the contentment I felt along the way.

These red cranes were lined up on the Champs-Elysées near the Grand Palais. I loved the way they looked through the bare trees

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I think I might have gotten cold if I had been waiting in this looooong line at the Grand Palais. All these folks had waited until the final day of the Hokusai exhibit and were paying the price for their procrastination.

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Um, no thanks I”ll pass.

It was a tad chilly for the upper deck of the tourist tour bus.

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After crossing the river, I began walking with my eyes looking up at the elegant buildings lining Blvd. Saint-Germain.

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Also along this street are several sad signs honoring soldiers who died there in World War II.

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Many pastry shops still feature the lovely “galettes du roi”, which are made of puff pastry and almond paste and eaten in December and January in observance of Epiphany. Each contains a darling little “feve” which one hopes to get in his or her piece but also hopes not to break a tooth on. He who gets the prize gets to wear the crown! Need I mention that these taste infinitely better than American king cakes? I didn’t think so.

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I walked a bit longer than I needed to behind this mom and daughter because she was so darned cute.

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Hellooooo? Does anyone up there want to go on a walk with me?

My destination was the Sunday organic market at Avenue Raspail. I didn’t need to buy produce, but it’s always entertaining. And beautiful. Oh my.

Busy market but so much nicer than Sunday in HEB.

Busy market but so much nicer than Sunday in HEB.

Eating local is pretty easy to do in France.

Eating local is pretty easy to do in France.

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Bonjour Madame!

Bonjour Madame!

These people, and many others, were happy to wait in line for these eggs.

These people, and many others, were happy to wait in line for these eggs.

I think these lovely products were made from olive wood, although I did not confirm.

I think these lovely products were made from olive wood, although I did not confirm.

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Winter produce is so photogenic!

I wandered around a bit after leaving the market, because it was just too pretty to hop on the bus for home.

The Grande Dame of department stores was looking stunning in the sunshine.

The Grande Dame of department stores was looking stunning in the sunshine.

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Cuteness abounds.

Cuteness abounds.

When at last I got on the 83, I sat in the very back of the bus, which is an elevated row of seats. I pretty much felt like the Boss of the Bus.

Home, James.

Home, James.

Never forget to look out the window when you are riding the 83 back home.

Never forget to look out the window when you are riding the 83 back home.

Instead of my usual bounty of produce, today I have only some delicious baked items from my trip to the market.

This gorgeous English muffin was delicious with a cup of tea when I got home. Of course, it was really just another vehicle for salted butter, but whatever.

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And what do you think these are?

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If you said “tomato and onion and cheese tartlet to go with your lentil soup tonight”, you are correct. If you said they look like boobies, you are just nasty.

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Because they clearly look like eyes. And the nose and mouth are “chaussons aux pommes”. Apple turnovers to you. Dessert to me. Yum!

I really loved my Sunday morning. I hope that you found some joy in yours, too. Thanks for letting me be part of it!

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Marche Raspail, Paris in winter

Louis Vuitton and Liz Lemon in Paris

Bonjour encore from Paris. Today (Monday) in Paris felt almost normal. The only thing I noticed out of the ordinary was an increased presence of security. Police vans were rolling or parked in Saint Germain. Armed police stood outside of the doors of various buildings that appeared to be normal apartment buildings. Also, when we entered the Bon Marche and Hermes, our bags were inspected at the entrance. The bag inspection was most unusual and I have to say, I hope it doesn’t last long. I don’t mind it when I go to the Musee d’Orsay, but please, let me fawn over fine leather goods without having to show you the inside of my own messy, receipt-strewn purse. Fortunately, I had removed the 38 breath mints that had spilled out into the bottom of my bag. (Yay)

Last night I got antsy after watching the Solidarity March for several hours, so I went for a brisk walk up and down the Champs-Elysees. It felt so good being out in the cold night air, with the last of the holiday lights still shining on the buildings.

The Four Seasons "George V" looked pretty fine. As usual.

The Four Seasons “George V” looked pretty fine. As usual.

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But we all know that the best window porn is to be found at Louis Vuitton. You’re welcome.

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I love how the ribbon actually goes outside the window.

 

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I would hang upside down for one of those bags ,too.

 

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“come to mama….”

 

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I really love these windows. I think the ribbon is fantastic (unlike Mark, who thought it looked like bacon). The shiny balloons appear to be suspended in air. And the clear presents are perfect. No need to wrap such gorgeous bags. Which one would you like? I know the totes are more practical, but I quite fancy the bags with the diamond shapes on them. Not that anyone is asking, mind you.

I have yet to consult social media for a recap of last night’s awards. I hate those shows but LOVE Tina and Amy, and was sorry to miss them. What was the best line? Those two gals are just the best. I wonder if they carry Louis Vuitton? Or maybe I should ask whether Oprah carries LV, because we all know that Liz Lemon said, “I pretty much just do what Oprah tells me to do.”

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Sending you all high-fives and LV love from Paris.

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Filed under Champs Elysees, fashion, Hermes, Paris, shopping, Uncategorized

Bonne Année!

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Happy New Year to all!

I am so proud to report that I didn’t fall asleep before midnight!’ At 11:30 we joined the crowds and walked to the  Arc de Triomphe. We were expecting a laser light show on the Arc, similar to what we saw for the Tour de France, and we got one at 11:45. We were so surprised, however, when fireworks started at the stroke of midnight! Paris NEVER does fireworks on New Year’s Eve (much to the disappointment of throngs of tourists every year), but this year she pulled out the stops and put on a show.

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What an auspicious beginning for the new year!

Cheers to 2015, and cheers to all of you!

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Filed under Arc de Triomphe, champagne, Champs Elysees, New Year's Eve, Paris photos, Tour de France, Uncategorized

New Year’s Eve In Paris

How can this be the last day of 2014? It seems like we just got here.

Today was cold but not windy or wet, which is just about perfect winter weather for me. Our older daughter, Claire, arrived from Sweden (man that girl gets around) yesterday and this afternoon I dragged Mark and her out to enjoy the lights and bustle of the city.

Our first stop was Merci, one of my very favorite stores located in the northern Marais. Transforming an old wallpaper factory, Merci changes its themes and appearance many times a year, and is always edgy and cool. It sells clothing for men and women, and also household items and just generally fabulous stuff. I love it. Mark and Claire loved it, too.

The store is kind of hidden from the street- you have to walk down this pretty little hallway.

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The courtyard is always decorated with fun stuff, which usually includes a little car.

Precious sisters posing by the cute car!

Precious sisters posing by the cute car!

I love this viewing spot from the upstairs. Isn’t it cool the way the candles appear to be suspended in mid-air?

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Trying to beat the sunset, we hurried over to Notre Dame. I wanted to see the Christmas tree and was afraid that tonight might be its final appearance. The church was so pretty in the evening light.

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We were in need of a little warm-up, so we crossed the river and went to a brasserie for coffee and beer and maybe a banana-chocolate crepe. When we came back out, the sun was almost gone.

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If we can stay awake long enough, we plan to walk over to the Champs-Elysées at 11:30 for a celebratory light show. I”ll let you know how that works out….I am not known for being a night-owl.

Bonne Année to all from Paris!

See you next year!

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Marais, Notre Dame, Paris, Paris sunsets, Seine

Tour de France 2014

As you might have heard, a little bike race called the Tour de France wound up in Paris last night. As luck would have it, we got home from our vacation just in time to trot over to the Champs Elysees and catch a glimpse of the riders as they whizzed by in a mass of color.

The riders to a loop on the Champs Elysees, from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. Here they are again on the far side of the street.

I was still in my traveling clothes, but this woman had obviously put more thought into her race-watching outfit.

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And this bride to be found a willing group of firemen to pose with. I wonder if she had second thoughts about her groom?

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After the riders went by, we made our way through the crowd and up to the Arc, where large screens projected the awards being presented to the winners on the other end of the Champs.

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And just like that, it was over. Done.

Then End.

 

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Paris, Tour de France

The 14th of July- Bastille Day

I was thrilled to be in Paris on the 14th of July, which we Americans call “Bastille Day”. To make the celebration even more memorable, my sister and her family were here, too. We watched a little of the parade on the Champs Elysees, strolled the Tuileries (including the carnival- whoop!), make a quick spin in the Louvre (saw the Mona Lisa and used the bathroom), walked on the river bank and then watched the fireworks at 11:00 pm. Did I mention that we were pretty tired when we went to bed that night?

I walked up to the Champs Elysees at 9:30 AM, hoping to snag a view of open sky for the fly overs. I stood at a traffic circle that I thought would be directly below the flight path. I also had a small window of parade view. Sadly, the planes flew directly over the trees I was standing beneath, and I saw nothing at all of them. Mark, however, walked to the parade after it had started and got some great pics. Go figure.

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my view

this guy right above me had a better view

this guy right above me had a better view

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It’s a rare day when you can walk down the middle of the Champs Elysees with no cars to dodge.

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my sister and her family

my sister and her family

carnival at the Tuileries

carnival at the Tuileries

a cloud of cotton candy for my niece

a cloud of cotton candy for my niece

I never miss the ferris wheel when it appears in the Tuileries.

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That evening we took a walk on the Seine before going to watch the fireworks.

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Some good friends invited our entire motley crew to watch the fireworks from their apartment balcony. It was a good place to be.

Paris is always a good idea. But particularly on the 14th of July!

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Filed under Bastille Day, Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower, family, Paris, Tuileries