Champs-Elysées - modified illuminations

Last year many people expressed a disappointment about the new “ecological” Christmas illuminations on the Champs-Elysées. Obviously, it was taken into consideration, as there have been some modifications this year; on the trees, garlands have been added to the “hula-hoops”.  

Well, I think most of us appreciate this modification. Here you can compare what the illuminations looked like in 2010, before the “hula-hoops” and here what they looked like last year.

In the middle of the avenue – at the “Rond-Point”, the illuminations are quite spectacular…

… and here are some examples of facades along the avenue.

With these photos, I wish especially to thank you all for your support during this 6th year of blogging and as this – probably - will be the last post this year, to wish you all


Skating at Grand Palais

The 1900 Grand Palais is one of my favourite buildings. I often posted about different events taking place under the vast glass vault, e.g. here, here, here and here. For a short period (December 13 – January 6), it’s now open for skating. So I went. (Did I skate?)

Especially during the dark hours, the lights make it look different, spectacular.  There are not only changing lights, also music.

When you pick up your skating shoes, there is a warning about alcoholic tests, but champagne is available. J


Santa Lucia

I already posted about the Swedish Santa Lucia tradition in a post three years ago, so if you wish to know something more about it you can go here. I went again, yesterday evening, to listen to the Paris Swedish Church choir. They performed this time at the “Cité International Unviersitaire”, some kind of a Paris University Campus, on which I also already posted.

You should normally be greeted in the early morning December 13 by some nice, singing, young ladies, but to see them and listen to them the night before was quite OK.

I was impressed by the very good singing of a number of traditional songs, including of course the Santa Lucia song (you can listen to it here by some other performers). A Swedish Lucia and her colleagues should obviously still be blond.  

There was a nice crowd of students from all countries listening to them (and also some ex-students). The traditional “glögg” (vin chaud, Glühwein, mulled wine) was served to the audience.


Some odd shots (5)

More "odd shots" awaiting to be back with "real blogging". This time from my neighbourhood in the 17th arrondissement.

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Some odd shots (4)

Still a pre-programmed post. This time two night pictures, one taken from Pont Alexandre III, one from the flat of a friend.

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Some odd shots (3)

My "macular hole" eye operation seems to give some postive results, but time is needed to know the final outcome. In the meantime I prefer to take it easy with blogging and continue thus to publish some odd shots. The first one today is from Place de Trocadéro - the wall behind which you will find the Passy Cemetery. There is a "Monument aux Morts" by Paul Landowski (also known for "Christ the Redeemer" in Rio de Janeiro).

Two photos from the Père Lachaise Cemetery (which I believe have already been in a collage). The first one is the tomb of a 13 years old girl (1907-20).

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Some odd shots (2)

Still making some kind of pause... Here are two photos,, the first one from inside the (new) National Library...

... and a second one from inside the National Assembly.

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Some odd shots...

As already said in previous posts, I have a little problem with an eye and need an operation ... and some time to recover. In the meantime, to make it simple, I have pre-programmed some odd posts with photos, which I have not yet publsihed. Here are just two photos taken around Place de Stalingrad.

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Christmas windows again

(This is a pre-programmed post – see explanation in previous post.)

As each year, I try to give you a glance of what the department stores, Printemps and Galéries Lafayette, Christmas show windows look like. So, it’s time again - as usual with a tight fight between the two neighbouring “rivals”. This year Printemps has Dior and Galéries Lafayette Louis Vuitton as basic themes. Most of the windows are for adults, but there are of course a few for the kids. What you can’t see from my pictures is the fact that there are la ot of movements in many windows.

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... and to finsih with the Christmas decorations, a few photos also from the interior, including the usual gigantic Christmas tree under the Galéries Lafayette cupola: 



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(My "real post" for today is to be found below.)

Mozart in Paris

Also Paris has a “Mozart House”.

Mozart visited Paris, accompanied by his parents and sister, as a young boy and had great success, performed for the Royal family… When he returned in 1778 for a couple of months, he was 22 (21 on the portrait) and had less success, although he was offered a job as organist at Versailles which he rejected. He didn’t get the prestigious job he was looking for. He wrote to a friend : “Paris is totally opposed to my genius, inclinations, knowledge and sympathies…. God grant only that I may not impair my talents by staying here.” He made however some concerts, worked as piano teacher… and composed.

He wrote a number of sonatas, including this one. …

… and especially a “Paris Symphony”. After a first more private performance, it was then, and at least twice in his presence, played by a great orchestra in what then was used as a big concert hall in the Tuileries Castle (destroyed in the Communard movement 1871, see previous posts). However no royalties were present. After the first Tuileries concert June 12, 1778, he was satisfied and went for an ice-cream in a café in the Palais Royal Gardens (see previous posts), maybe this one?.

The symphony was then played a second time August 15 and in the meantime he had rewritten the second movement, which somehow had “failed to please”.

Also, in the meantime his 57 year old mother who had accompanied him to Paris got seriously ill. They stayed in the building you can see at the top of the post, 8 rue du Sentier.

He went to pray in the nearby Notre-Dames-des-Victoires Basilica (see previous post)

His mother died July 3 and the funeral was held at the Saint-Estache Church (see previous post).

Mozart left Paris for the last time during the autumn.

I have a little problem with an eye and will have an operation. I will probably need a few weeks before I'm again quite "fit for fight", meaning work properly with my computer etc... In the meantime, I have prepared, pre-programmed, some posts, but I will of course hardly be able to look at other blogs, comment... Sorry!  

... and in the meantime you can also listen to Mozart's “Paris Symphony”.
First movement
Second movement
Third movement