Posts tagged Paris
Posts tagged Paris
The Opera Garnier, 9th arrondissement.
Although it used to house the Opera de Paris, that company has now moved to the Opera Bastille, and the Opera Garnier is mostly used for the ballet these days. If you get the opportunity, take an unguided tour. It costs less than 10€ - you’ll probably have to queue for a while to get in, but it’s worth the wait - you can stay for as long as you like, with access to the auditorium, the staircase, and the hallways. It was completed in 1875, and is simply exquisite, like a palace, which, in some ways, I suppose it is.
Many of you will already know this, many more will not care, but there will be some people who simply have no idea. Marks & Spencer left Paris, along with the rest of Europe, a decade ago, due to a low success rate in Europe. France, however, and especially Paris, had welcomed M&S with open arms, and lamented its departure.
This month, they will lament no more, for M&S is returning to French shores, with a flagship store at 100 Champs Elysées. Finally, we won’t have to return to England to get “bacon, sausages, double cream, Earl Grey tea and cotton knickers”, as The Guardian put it, as well as (I hope) ready meals, cheddar, tights, and shoes that I know will fit.
The store will open in November, they say. It’s now November, the French website is now live, at http://www.marksandspencer.fr/, and excitement is building, especially within the British expat community to which I belong. I am not exaggerating when I say that we - and many like us - are planning a trip as soon as possible, to stock up on such delights.
Maybe I’ll see some of you there…
6th arrondissement. This passage runs between the Boulevard Saint Germain and the Rue Saint André Des-Arts. It is full of lovely little shops, cafes and restaurants, including the world-famous Café Procope, and, in good weather, the cobbles are covered with tables full of people enjoying Parisian café culture.
I’m going to England for a few days, and this is Paris’ goodbye to me while I pack this morning. View from my apartment, looking north-east towards Notre Dame.
There’s something about Paris in the morning. This was taken while running across Port des Arts to get to the Musee d’Orsay. The Pont des Arts is my favourite bridge in Paris. At night time, big groups of young people come out with picnic blankets and bottles of wine and and play music and talk. Walking acorss that bridge and being a part of that made me glad to be alive - a true joie de vivre moment.
The Pont des Arts, which is famous for the tradition of going with your partner to lock a padlock onto it, and throwing the key into the river to symbolise your everlasting love, as well as the marvellous views.
I live above one of the busiest road in Paris. Not the busiest, mind, but busy enough: a one-way street constantly swelled with cars, mopeds, coaches, buses, ambulances and police cars. The sirens go on all day and all night. I live on the fifth floor, and beneath my window plays out a game of chicken that I have never seen on such a scale anywhere but Paris. It is played all day and all night, on every street. Every Parisian, and every visitor, is a participant. Every driver, and every pedestrian, every user of public transport. Every turn of a wheel is another move, throwing people into the way of one whilst steering clear of another. The sheer bloody-mindedness of some not to move for anybody is matched by the self-preserving nature of others. And of course there are those who take pleasure in veering aside at the last minute, tearing over pedestrian crossings, or ducking between the cars as they try to be the first to pass the lights. One only has to stand on the Arc de Triomphe to see the most extreme arena of the game, but my own spot, looking down on the risks that every player takes with his or her life, whether by choice or otherwise, is certainly enough for me. I would say that this is representative of Paris as a whole, and what it means to be Parisian, or to be in Paris, and watching it is a pass-time that ought to be indulged in fully, by every Parisian and every visitor, just as with visiting the many art museums and bridges. I implore you, too, to indulge…
The Louvre, 1st arr.
I didn’t go on a particularly long walk, and I didn’t take very many photos. Apparently there’s going to be a heatwave in Paris, so I’m sure I’ll be taking advantage of the weather by exploring lots in the coming days, especially as there won’t be all that much uni work for a little while… and when there is a lot, I’m going to need distractions as a matter of urgency. Also, as it’s my last year here, I need to make the most of it.
Eglise Saint Sulpice. We can see this from one of our windows, and wondered what it was, so I set myself a mission to find out. This church is huge, and incredible. I loved it. But it was very dark inside, despite its light exterior, which baffled me.