A last post .... this year!

This will probably be my last post for this year… many visitors, season activities… The Eiffel Tower is often changing its colours, symbolizing events, often dramatic ones. Can we, in a certain way, hope that there will be less need for special colours in 2018! Sincere thanks for following my blog during 2017… and before... and hopefully in 2018!  


Naked, square trees

(The leaves are gone for this year.) Yes, the Paris central parks are known for their square trees. The typical garden "à la française" was inspired by the Italian renaissance gardens, but with time in France it became perhaps even more symmetrical, geometric… and part of the game was to propose these so neatly cut trees. It was even said that this was a way to show how mankind, represented by the King, could dominate nature. Although we may not adhere to this philosophy any more, the square-trees-tradition, created during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, is still very much visible in the Paris central parks. The great number of parks which were created during the latter part of the 19th century are much more influenced by the English and to some extent also the Chinese gardens. 



My new neighbourhood.

Yes, I moved. My metro station is now "Alma-Marceau" – which opened in 1923. We are at the junction of the Avenue Marceau and the bridge, Pont d’Alma … and also of the Avenue George V, Avenue Montaigne...

Maybe it’s of some interest to know why these names? Alma refers to the Battle of Alma in 1854 during the Crimean War. Marceau refers to a French general, François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers (1769-96) who was killed in a battle at the age of 27 and who also is immortalized by Byron: “Honour to Marceau… brief, brave and glorious was his young career…”. King George V (1865-1936) gave his name to the previous Avenue d’Alma already in his lifetime, in 1918, with reference to WWI. Avenue de Montaigne was previously called the “widows’ alley” and got its name from the renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne (1533-92) much later. 
Before visiting the immediate neighbourhood, here we can see how the area developed during the centuries and especially note that from almost being countryside, the real change took place during the last decades of the 19th century, Haussmann again. One detail was the fire pump which lifted the Seine waters to some nearby basins and which was in operation here between 1781 and 1900.

Here are thus some views from my new and immediate surroundings – I neglect the Palais de Tokyo and the Galliera Museum on which I have already posted, see here and hereThe Flame, copy of the Flame of the Statue of Liberty, was a gift by the International Herald Tribune to Paris in 1989, to commemorate the 1789 Revolution, see previous post. I have already talked about the new orthodox church several times, e.g. here.

A few statues, the one of the Belgian-French friendship and “La Seine” on which I also wrote here.

The bridge, Pont’d’Alma, with its Zouave on which I reported e.g. here and here.

Some views of churches behind the trees, the Saint-Pierre de Chaillot (see here) and the American Cathedral (see here).

Three embassies, the Spanish one, the Vatican one and the Kenyan one. 

A number of places where to eat and drink… some quite renowned.

Fashion houses, Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga … including the newly reopened YSL museum.

Crazy Horse…

A fashionable area, nice in many ways, but where it’s difficult to find a haircut for less than 70 € …

… and where I must make a nice walk to find  a supermarket, a boulangerie …but twice a week, I can find fresh food and a lot of other stuff on Avenue Wilson... and I have my little garden in front of my little flat. It's really nice.


A nice little bag as a Christmas gift - 2.400 € ?

I made a walk again along the Avenue Matignon, so nicely lit up during the (long) Christmas season. I wrote about the avenue some almost nine years ago (see here) … the lights have changed since…

… whereas the illumination of the Champs-Elysées, which the avenue crosses, seems to be back to the previous model.
Well, Avenue Montaigne is the street where you can find the Théâtre des Champs Elysées (see previous post), the Plaza Athénée Palace...

... and of course a large number of shops representing almost all high fashion brands….

Many belong to the LVMH group, including of course Dior and Louis Vuitton. 

The Louis Vuitton show windows looked really spectacular (see also top picture), but, but… Some people admire Jeff Koons, others don’t. Koons has often gotten support from Louis Vuitton (LVMH) and its CEO, Bernard Arnault and his family.  This has obviously led to the creation of these bags, clutches and purses. Will they replace the traditional Louis Vuitton bags? (Anyhow, they are even more expensive.) Well… I will not buy / offer any of these. 

Sorry, but I could even ask what’s the difference in “good taste” between the Koons bags and these, price range 10-20 €?  

Jeff Koons is also involved in a gift announced in 2016 to honour French-American friendship – after the 2015 terror attacks.  Well the "gift" by Koons was his idea, the concept… his tulips to be placed in front of the Palais de Tokyo (see previous post). The 3-4 million dollars needed to realize the project were / are? still to be found. You may imagine that there are very different opinions about this project, which in the meantime obviously is “delayed”. Well, the idea is not to replace the present Bourdelle sculpture (see previous post) - the tulips are supposed to be placed on the other side of the columns.  

After reading this, you may imagine that I’m not an absolute Koons admirer… and you may be right. :-)