Tag Archives: Champs-Élysées

Running Around Paris

Mark keeps telling me I need to bring this blog down a little. He fears it might be too much of a good thing. He suggested a post on “Ugly In Paris”, and even took a few pictures of cigarette butts scattered in the streets. I’m sorry if that is indeed what is due here, because these past few days in Paris have been nothing short of glorious, and I just can’t paint it any other way. Maybe another time. But not today.

Yesterday seemed like it was the perfect day for the Paris marathon, though it might have been a tad warm for the runners by mile twenty or so. Several hours after the race began we walked to the start line at the Champs-Elysées. Some super-fast people were already hobbling around with their medals and their “Finisher” t-shirts. Any time we get a chance to walk on the Champs-Elysées when it is closed to traffic, we do it. Because it feels really cool, that’s why.

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We then walked to Trocadero and down to the river to watch the mere mortals who were running the race at a four-hour pace.  This was around mile twenty-one, and it was plenty warm. They looked pretty miserable to me.

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Every so often these little musical groups would play along the course to cheer on the runners.

I would much prefer to ride this horse, thank you.

I would much prefer to ride this horse, thank you.

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Today was even lovelier, if that was possible.

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I took a walk that landed me at this tiny udon restaurant right at lunch time. Mark and I had noticed it several times and intended to try it out, and today seemed like as good a time as any. It was narrow, with an eating bar along the open windows, overlooking the sidewalk, and long tables about six inches behind those seats.

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I sat at the bar and enjoyed the street view.

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My neighbor was sitting very close to me, which made it easy for me to admire her gorgeous red hair. Is that weird?

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It was a short walk to the Tuileries.

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I spent about thirty minutes doing this.

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Because really- how could I not?

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The only Parisians having a bad day today are those who wore too many clothes.

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I hope you all are having a wonderful day.

And yes, there really is some ugly here. I just choose not to look for it.

3 Comments

Filed under Paris, springtime in Paris

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!

3 Comments

Filed under Champs Elysees, Marche Raspail, Paris in winter

Paris Once More

Bonjour from Paris, mes amis! I am so happy to be back in my apartment and soon to be back in my bed for a full night’s sleep (hear that, jet lag?). We made a salad for dinner, gathered a fresh baguette and some cheese and (duh) butter, and opened a tasty red wine. Now I am in my jammies, burning my favorite French candle and hoping to publish this post without any mistakes, in spite of my fuzzy-headed fatigue.

I went on a wonderful walk late this afternoon, which is the only way to survive one’s first day in Paris. The evening shadows were already growing long at 4:30, and I got to watch the sky glow with color as the sun disappeared. It was cold but not wet; the crowds were happy; and Paris still is festive in her holiday finery.

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I walked toward the Champs -Elysées and was happily surprised that the Christmas market was still buzzing with activity and redolent with the delicious smells of spiced wine, waffles, and churros.

love a Christmas red coat!

love a Christmas red coat!

                             chocolate!

chocolate!

The biggest problem with hot spiced wine, besides the fact that it often tastes like hot cough syrup, is how to drink it while walking in a crowd.

The biggest problem with hot spiced wine, besides the fact that it often tastes like hot cough syrup, is how to drink it while walking in a crowd.

A selfie stick- as seen on TV. And in every place around the world where tourists are.

A selfie stick- as seen on TV. And in every place around the world where tourists are.

After a short walk through the market, I couldn’t take it any more and so I crossed the Champs- Elysées at the Grand Palais and walked to the ever-popular Alexandre bridge. While there I snapped the Eiffel Tower in shades of lavender.

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From the other side you can see the ferris wheel at at the Tuileries.

From the other side you can see the ferris wheel at the Tuileries.

And then this happened and I swear to you it wasn't intentional. I'm sorry.

And then this happened and I swear to you it wasn’t intentional. I’m sorry.

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After crossing the bridge I walked along the river toward the Musee d’Orsay.

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Hello Orangerie through the bare trees.

I remembered to look behind me and loved these pinks.

I remembered to look behind me and loved these pinks.

After crossing back over the river I was in the Tuileries at dusk.

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Back through the crowded market toward home

Back through the crowded market toward home

The Grand Palais was lit in blue for a big exhibition for which there was a very long line.

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Barbie got a mini for Christmas!

Barbie got a mini for Christmas!

window in a chocolate shop near my apartment

window in a chocolate shop near my apartment

The florist near me was finished with Christmas and was moving on to tulips. I’m all for that.

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And now I get to go to sleep. I’m all for that, too.

Bon soir, my friends!

5 Comments

Filed under naughty cherubs

Paris For A Week

This will be my quickest trip to Paris ever- arrive on a Sunday and leave on the next Saturday.  But when my daughter said she would like to spend her final week of vacation in Paris with us, I jumped at the chance.  Six days is better than none, oui?

After showering off the Air France residue on Sunday morning, she and I went to the art market near the Tour Montparnasse.  I discovered this weekly artists market when I was here in the fall, and now I hate to miss a Sunday there.  Although some of the artists had apparently not returned from their holiday, there was plenty of art to admire.  Martha bought this pretty little watercolor print of St. Germain.

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For moi, two little ink sketches.

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Le Marche Parisien de la Creation is located on Boulevard Edgar Quinet from rue Huygens to rue du Depart.  The best metros are Edgar Quinet or Montparnasse-Bienvenue.

Later, we forced ourselves to waken from our jet-lagged laden naps with a walk down Avenue Montaigne.  I was happy to see that she was still dressed in her holiday finery, and that the store windows were  gleaming in the perfect evening light.

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Louis Vuitton looked like a modern a modern art exhibit.

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Dior had a spacey, futuristic vibe.

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The Champs Elysees is still glittering, as well.  Here is one of four sections of a traffic circle, all of which were glowing blue and white.

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It feels really nice to be back in Paris, even if only for a few days.  And it feels particularly nice knowing that we are missing the freezing temperatures that have gripped Texas this week!  Stay warm, mes amis!

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Filed under Champs Elysees, fashion

Tour de France 2013

Our train from London was scheduled to arrive at 7:20 last night, giving us plenty of time to get to the Champs Elysees to see the Tour de France riders loop around the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre at the end of the Tour de France.  However, due to a problem with one of the trains, we were diverted to Lisle to change trains before we arrived in Paris close to an hour late. We arrived home, dropped our bags, drank a cold beer (yes, still hot here) and walked to the Champs Elysees just as riders were whizzing past the crowd lining the street.  We got lucky, however, as we were able to have a pretty good view of the last two laps.  It was a thrilling experience.

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After the race was over we moved a bit up the street in order to stand right in front of a huge screen which was projecting the awards ceremony and views of the Champs Elysees.

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Winner Chris Froome from Great Britain

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Following the awards ceremony, we walked all the way up to the Arc de Triomphe and enjoyed a spectacular light show on the arc.

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Here is how it looked in action!

We stood there  amidst the very well-behaved crowd and enjoyed the light show for a long time.  We were hoping to see the fireworks that had been promised, but when they hadn’t begun by 11:15, we had to give up on them.  We didn’t feel cheated, however, having thoroughly enjoyed everything else we had been fortunate enough to see that night.  And can you believe it was all under a full moon?

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I posted a few more pictures on Mais Oui Paris Facebook page here.

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Paris, Tour de France, Uncategorized

Just A Short Walk

The sky on Tuesday morning was bluer than it had been in some time.  The temperature was about 36 degrees, and I decided it was a good day for a long walk.  And walk I did.  I took the metro to Bastille and wandered all the way home, never stopping for a coffee or a purchase- only to take pictures.  Here is what my walk looked like on my handy-dandy new app called Map My Run.

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Isn’t that cool?  It also told me that I had walked 7.3 miles in 2 hours and 3 minutes, burning 739 calories!  Not bad for a morning’s stroll, right?

So if you start at the far right of my squiggly red path, you will be at Bastille, where I got off the metro and turned on my app.

Starting point: Bastille

Starting point: Bastille

Opera House at Bastille

Opera House at Bastille

The first little detour off my path was to go see what one of my favorite spots looked like in the morning light.

That's where!

That’s where!

Place des  Vosges

Place des Vosges

morning light on Place des Vosges

morning light on Place des Vosges

At Hotel de Ville I decided to head to the river and maybe take a peek at Notre Dame.

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As you can see from my little red trail, I got carried away admiring the bridges and went too far, which is why you see the big loop back to Notre Dame.  That little jaunt wasn’t very scenic.  I was kind of mad at myself for missing my bridge.  But I wanted to see the Christmas tree, which you may remember was such a disappointment last year when I made a special trip over there to see it at night.  Turns out it’s more a day thing.  But this year, it isn’t a thing at all.  Apparently the cathedral’s 850 year birthday celebration has preempted the Christmas tree this year.  I’m sure there will be some nice events, but they really kind of trashed out the place with all their preparations.  If that had been my only day to see Notre Dame, I would have been pissed.

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But the tree was right here last year....

But the tree was right here last year….

After being uninspired at Notre Dame, I decided to cross over the Left Bank for a stretch.  I walked up Boulevard St. Germain, where I was sorely tempted to stop for a coffee at Les Deux Magots or Cafe de Flore, but I resisted.  I crossed back over the river by the Musee d’Orsay and entered the Tuileries.

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This year there is an enormous Christmas tree just outside the Tuileries gate, almost to the Place de la Concorde.

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This tree probably looks better at night.  What is the deal with that horrible blue thing surrounding the base of the tree?  Is it to hide all the presents that are under there?

While I was pondering these things, I noticed a long line of horses being ridden by military guys walking down the street along the river.  It was so pretty and so unexpected.

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From there it was an easy walk home, avoiding the Champs Elysees because the Christmas market is set up there and it gets pretty thick with tourists.  Bah.

Now that, my friends, was a great walk and a great morning.  I really should do it more often.

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Notre Dame, Place de Vosges, Tuileries, Uncategorized

Champs Elysees, All Lit Up For Christmas

Last year I complained about the weird tube lights erected around the trees on the Champs Elysees for Christmas.  I missed the sparkly, drippy blue lights of previous years.  Well, the hoops are still up, but they have added the old blue lights, to placate the old fuddie duddies like me, who like things more traditional.  Here are some pictures from a week or so ago.

What about you?  Is your street lit yet?  Are you????

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Yes, that is the moon!

Yes, that is the moon!

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Paris