Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A Day in Paris

We rise and head out into Paris to spend a day wandering in this fabulous city.  Heading toward the Opera, we find restaurant parklets expanding the outdoor space for dining.


Nearby, the food shops are setting up for their day.

Setting up

Approaching the Opera, we find a contrast of old and new architecture.

Old (Opera) and new

Behind the Opera, on Boulevard Haussmann, the famous French department stores, Galerie Lafayette and Printemps have their flagship stores.  We first wander into Galerie Lafayette to the floor devoted to food (dine in/out or purchase the ingredients) to admire the displays and peruse the wines (many types of rosé, including a large collection of one of our favorites:  Cote de Provence).

Food and wine

We are truly impressed that we can purchase a meat slicer, but aren't yet ready to try to bring one of these home.

Slice it yourself

In the main store, Galerie Lafayette is decorated with the theme Paris Mon Amour (Paris my love), with hearts everywhere, including the center of the dome.  Organized in partnership with the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, Paris Region Tourist Board, and Atout France, Paris Mon Amour showcases creative Parisian energy through fashion, design, art, and gastronomy.

Paris mon amour

Down the street at Printemps, we also visit the food floor and admire the views of Paris from the balcony outside the food stalls.

Over at Printemps

Leaving the stores, we head up Boulevard Haussmann, seeing Paris life getting back to normal as people are out in the cafes, restaurants, and shops.

Paris street life

At the Arc de Triumph, we find the Arc enclosed in scaffolding as part of shrouding the structure in fabric, a posthumous project of the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, titled "L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped," requiring 270,000 square feet (25,000 square meters) of fabric, 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) of red rope, and 3 months labor from a team of 1,200 workers.

Art installation in process

Walking down the Champs-Élysées from L'Etoile and the Arc, we find a sign of the times:  Covid-19 test stations every block or two on the sidewalk.

Test station

Along the Champs-Élysées, we pass the Grand Palais, Petit Palais, and then enter into Place de la Concorde and the entrance to the the Tuileries (with the fair we spotted on our first day).  From the Place de la Concorde, we look one way at the Assemblée Nationale (across the river) and the other way at the Hotel de Crillon and the Hotel de la Marine, formerly the depository for the royal furniture collection, crown jewels, tapestries, and precious objets d’art (and home to the French Navy Industry from 1759-2014), now restored and reopened to the public.

Grand Palais

Looking both ways in Place de la Concorde

Gazing down the Champs-Élysées in the distance, we see the Arc de Triumph (from which we just came) and, in the other direction, the Tuileries and, in the distance, the Louvre.

 Champs-Élysées (Arc de Triumphe in the distance), 
Tuleries (Louvre in the distance)

This has been a fun stroll through the right bank of Paris, visiting old favorites and seeing what has changed since we were last here.  Now, it's time to find lunch.

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