A visit to a local market and the Champs-Elysees.

August 02, 2014  •  8 Comments

Today we spent most of the day walking through various neighbourhoods and ended up on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, one of the world's most famous streets.   

20140617_France_000220140617_France_0002 In the morning we went to a local farmers market located near the Ledru-Rollin metro station.  

20140617_France_000320140617_France_0003 A few of the vendors were happy to have their photos taken but many were not.

20140617_France_000420140617_France_0004 They had many different colourful displays of food and clothing.

20140617_France_000520140617_France_0005 Another friendly Parisian.

20140617_France_000820140617_France_0008 We met this guy who turned out to be very friendly (what did I say about dog owners).  We spent quite a while talking to him and petting his friendly dogs.  As you can see Gretchen made another friend.  20140617_France_000720140617_France_0007

20140617_France_001020140617_France_0010 A local cafe in the area.

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 I went into this fabulous bakery.

20140617_France_000920140617_France_0009 Paris has such delicious pastries and bread.  

20140617_France_000120140617_France_0001 A little girl enjoying her snack.

20140617_France_000120140617_France_0001 The metro station at Ledru- Rollin.  We mostly walked all over Paris, however we did take the metro a few times.  The metro in Paris is mostly underground and 214 kilometres (133 mi) long and has 303 stations of which 62 have transfers to another line.  There are 16 lines.  It is the second busiest metro in Europe after Moscow.  In 2012 it carried 1.541 billion passengers averaging  4.210 million passengers a day.   It is one of the densest metro systems in the world with 245 stations within the 86.9 (34 sq mi) of the city of Paris (the remaining 58 stations are on the outskirts of Paris).  The very first line opened on July 19, 1900 during the World's Fair.  Just as a comparison, Toronto's metro (TTC) opened in 1954 with 12 stations and has expanded to 69 stations on four lines totalling   68.3kilometres (42.4 mi) in length.  Toronto averages 1,084,000 passengers a day.  

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Just like Toronto, dogs are allowed on the subway systems.  Not surprising since dogs are also allowed in restaurants. 

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There were lots of interesting people at the cafes and on the streets.

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One of the most famous monuments in Paris is the Arc de Triomphe de L'Etoile.  It is located in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle (originally named Place de l"Etoile), at the western end of the Champs-Elysees.  This Arc honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars.  Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the unknown soldier from World War 1.

20140617_France_001920140617_France_0019 The monument stands 50 metres (164 feet) tall, 45m (72 ft) wide and 22m (72 ft) deep.  The Arc is built on such a large scale that three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919( to mark the end of the hostilities in World War 1),  Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane through it.

20140617_France_002020140617_France_0020 People walking and taking bus rides on the famous Champs-Elysees.  With its cinemas, cafes, luxury specially shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Champs-Elysees is one of the world's most famous streets.  It also happens to be one of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world.  The street is often referred to as the most beautiful avenue in the world.  Because of the streets close proximity to several Parisian landmarks, it has been the site of several notable military parades.  The most infamous being the march of German troops celebrating the fall of France on July 14, 1940.  The two most famous were the subsequent marches of Free French and American forces afar the liberation of the city on August 26th, 1944 and August 29, 1944.

20140617_France_002120140617_France_0021 The modern  and the old.  The Champs-Elysees was originally fields and market gardens until 1616 when Marie de' Medici decided to extend the axis of the Tuileries Garden with an avenue of trees.   The arrival of the global chain stores in recent years has really changed the streets character.   Too many of the large chains now occupy the real estate.  Traditionally the avenue was home to popular and luxurious brands such as Louis, Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Lancel, Guerlain, Lacoste, Hotel de la Paiva, Fouquets and the Elysee Palace.  Now large chains such as Adidas, Disney, Nike,Toyota, The Gap, H&M and Abercrombie & Fitch have opened stores.  I couldn't help feeling that the street has lost some  its charm and uniqueness  over the years but given the high rents this was inevitable. 

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20140617_France_002420140617_France_0024 Fouquet's Paris was established in 1899 and was renovated in 1999.  This famous restaurant is listed in the inventory of historical monuments.  The restaurant is famous in the world of French cinema and also was in the spotlight after Nicolas Sarkozy and his family celebrated his victory in the 2007 presidential election.  In the photography, Seymour is studying the menu.    Because of the high rents, few people live on the Champs-Elysees;  upper stories tend to be occupied by offices.  

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Here is a portion of the menu at Fouquet's which is a little difficult to read.  To convert to CND$ you have to multiply the Euros by about 1.5.  If you wanted sole Meuniere with mashed peas you would be paying approximately $108 CND.   If you would prefer a grilled beef filet with potatoes and onions covered with a béarnaise sauce it would cost $78 CND.   Did I mention that Paris is an expensive city?  

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A very common site in Paris. This woman was harmless, however there has been a huge increase in the number of aggressive beggars and pickpockets flooding into the French capital from Romania and Bulgaria.  The French authorities have responded to the huge increase in the number of criminal gangs of pickpockets and other thieves operating in the city by placing more police officers at tourist sties.   One of our members was pick- pocketed in the market.  In 2013, France's socialist government announced new policies to help the Roma community by expanding their access to legal employment.  This would effect approximately 20,000 Roma living in France.  Even though Romania and Bulgaria became full members of the European Union in 2007, transitional arrangements meant that their citizens would not have complete freedom of employment in France until December 31, 2013 which created huge problems.  

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People were constantly on their cell phones everywhere (not unlike Toronto).  

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Another look at the Champs-Ellysees with the Arc at the end of the street.  Every year on Bastille Day on July 14, the largest military parade in Europe passes down the Champs-Elysees.  Also, since 1975, the last stage of the Tour de France has finished on the Champs-Ellysees, with the riders typically making six to eight circuits back and forth on the avenue.  

 

 

 


Comments

Lynn Muller(non-registered)
The picture of Le Charolais cafe is definitely my favourite. I love the way you captured the beauty of the architecture and the lives of the people. This would be a beautiful picture to frame and hang in your home!
Maureen(non-registered)
I just love your people & dog photos, definitely my favourites. Amazing work!
Tricia Matheson(non-registered)
My favorite photo was of the Café Charolais - you captured the myriad stuff inside, the outside complete with the local characters in full conversation, all in sharp focus and beautiful color. These were excellent photos, and I loved that you included so many great facts about the Paris Metro, the Champs-Elysees, and the roaming Roma populations.
Toby(non-registered)
My major favorite is the black fellow hugging the woman whose back we see -- what a fantastic photo! my next favorite [no surprise] is the woman with the Yorkie. I also liked especially one of the black and whites with an elderly man -- you really caught him. Others are really good but the hugging one is sensational, I think. I also like his photo with the two dogs -- a very photogenic man.
Mary Ellen(non-registered)
Hi Marsha. Well done. You are continuing your keen sense of observation of the bones of a place and a beautiful interaction with people - I can tell they trust you and disclose some of their personality - even the ones who seems hesitant can't help but disclose something to you. I also see a cinematic quality in your photos in these three blogs - and not just because they are wide shots of the city but because they are open and intimate at the same time (duality in art counts!)- i.e the men at the local cafe and the young woman at the bakery. And in a previous blog with the two men in the taxi - "ask the taxi driver". It's clear to me that you are "making" photographs, not just "taking" photographs. Best, Mary Ellen
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