Fiat lux - again

This is not the first time (see previous post) I show the Christmas illuminations on the Champs Elysées, but this year they are new, a new design, obviously less power consuming.
The “fiat lux” took place last Wednesday and our beloved Amélie Poulain, alias Audrey Tautou, pushed the button. Unfortunately I was not present, had another nice appointment, so this picture is from a local newspaper.
The design has completely changed; the trees are surrounded by circles which slowly change colour. I have a doubt with regard to the “Christmas effect”…

  compared to what has been up the last couple of years; this is what it looked like last year.

I had some difficulties to choose the top picture, more or less zoomed. … and, for once, I had to admit that I could not use my favourite automatic settings, so I tried hard, trying to avoid trembling…
… but of course I trembled a little now and then.

The other direction:

Some scenes from along the Avenue.

Half way down the Avenue, on the “Rond Point”, the decorations were also new. Further down there is again a Christmas Market, but I neglect to report about it this year, much more a market than Christmas in my mind.

Marks & Spencer left Paris some ten years ago under not much appreciated circumstances, leaving some 1700 people jobless. They are now back and opened this week a rather modest shop on the Champs Elysées. Obviously more to follow.


Nothing special...

Leaving the street art inauguration (see previous post), I took a little walk in the area, looking for what I like a lot, the small hidden alleys and courtyards, sometimes behind more or less closed gates.

This area is to a great extent occupied by small workshops and shops dealing with wholesale of textiles, clothes…, as we can see on the top picture. Some old “boulangeries” have fortunately kept their design and decoration, but don’t sell any baguettes or croissants any more. But people also live here; many seem to use bikes for their local transport. (I don’t give any exact addresses here, as visits by strangers are sometimes more or less appreciated.)
There is also a small park, Square Maurice Gardette. Until about 1865 there was a slaughter-house here. You can see one of the few metal statues that survived WWII, when most of them were smelted down to make weapons, bullets…
In one of the streets a modest entrance gate indicates “Missionnaires de la Charité” (Missionaries of Charity), where you find a Paris branch of what was created by Mother Teresa.


Again... Christmas shop-windows

I have already done this previous years (see last year’s post), but some blogger friends kindly asked me to take some photos also of this year’s Christmas shop-windows… so of course I did, once again concentrating on the Printemps and the Galeries Lafayette ones.
Printemps has during the last years more and more concentrated on luxury which is confirmed by what is displayed in the windows (see also top photo). This year is obviously dedicated to Chanel and their artistic director Karl Lagerfeld appears, multiplied, in one of the windows.

Some details.

Little space for others than Chanel  … a little bit of Dior and Burberry.

… and what is displayed in the men’s windows is much more of a mixture. (I don’t know what I would like to wear … have not yet made by list for this Christmas.)

Galeries Lafayette had again put up their spectacular wall decorations. The windows are definitely here more children-friendly. Actually, I should have made some videos as most of the windows are animated, a lot of puppies on strings.

The “Lafayette Maison” windows were this year more or less hidden… you had to look through the bars to see what was exposed. Not well adapted to photographing.  


A Russian Cemetery... Nureyev

There were many Russian emigrants in France after the 1917 Revolution. Several of them lived, were as retired taken care of, in a small castle, and were as from 1927 buried in a nearby cemetery, which as from 1927 has become a Russian Orthodox Cemetery. It’s situated at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, a Paris southern suburb, and is shared by locals.

There are now some 15000 “Russians” buried here, most of them immigrants or descendants of immigrants, although, with the changed political situation, some have been exhumed and their remains have returned to their mother country. The cemetery is really beautiful, maybe partly helped by the nice autumn colours offered by gingkos and some other trees, which had more or less managed to keep their leaves.

Many graves have small openings, often filled with some souvenirs and by eggs, which have a great symbolic significance for the Orthodox for new life or as a connecting link between life and death.  I didn’t see any Fabergé ones, although one of the Fabergé sons is buried here.

The cemetery is served by the Dormition Church.

Among the personalities buried here you may mention several authors including Ivan Bunin, who received the Literature Nobel Prize in 1933, film directors, actors and actresses, painters… and Irena Alexandrovna, niece of the last Tsar, married to Felix Yusopov who participated in the murder of Rasputin.

One person, whose remains were never found after she was beheaded by the Nazis was the resistant Vera Obolensky, but she is remembered on a memorial and was honoured by Vladimir Poutine, when he visited the cemetery a few years ago.

Two celebrated dancers have also there tombs here. Serge Lifar was a principal dancer in the Ballets Russes and a much appreciated choreographer. He was also the ballet master at the Paris Opera for some 25 years.

The other dancer and choreographer is Rudolf Nureyev. His remarkable grave is a mosaic memorial which resembles an oriental kilim rug, which Rudolf was an admirer of (see also the top photo).

To end this post, let’s see Rudolf dance with Margot Fonteyn…
... and with Peggy Piggy.
I had the pleasure to make this visit together with Genie, who also made a post about it.