Sunday, April 1, 2012

PARIS - The Street Scene

In the Marais,


Saturday Marais Street Market - Paris, Fr. - by DG Hudson


Our first weekend in Paris, we wanted to see the local neighborhood.  The Marais street vendors set up their stalls on weekends so we joined the shoppers strolling the sidewalk flea and craft markets between old churches and apartment buildings.  The tiered steps force you to slow down your walk and check out the wares.

In parts of the Marais, you'll see the older streets that are just wide enough for small cars or Parisian motorbikes; the buildings are protected by concrete stanchions and cars that never seem to move. Perfect for walkers. Small museums are hidden among the residential blocks in these older neighborhoods, providing a second life for the former homes of aristocrats.



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Montmartre

Montmartre, Lapin Agile on left, Artist Cafe late 1800s - DG Hudson


Wandering the streets of any city is an excellent way to find those unique tiny shops that sell art supplies, or that cafe that serves Breton crepes.  You need to know which ones to avoid, as well.  This post will highlight some of the streets we explored.  In Montmartre, you'll find winding, old-style streets that climb ever upward and curve around churches and other buildings, some of them centuries old. 




Moulin de la Galette, Montmartre, Paris by Green Eye


Small sidewalk cafes are tucked into creative spots on the streets as you ascend the hill: Moulin de la Galette, of Renoir fame, La Maison Rose, and Lapin Agile, an artists cafe. We took a detour to see the petite square of the Wall-Passer and listen to the story behind the sculpture. (The sculpture depicts the main character in the story, a Parisian tale.)


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Rue D'Orchampt, Graffiti wall:



Graffiti in Montmartre - by DG Hudson


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Bouquinistes / Booksellers of Used or Rare Books


Bouquinistes by the Seine River - DG Hudson


Only stopping briefly to look at the literary offerings of the bouguinistes, I didn't buy anything.  I first saw them in their closed position when we walked by the Seine River in the evening.  Locked dark green boxes that blossomed into reading material and other printed objects when opened in the daytime. 


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Arc de Triomphe


Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysses by DG Hudson


The Avenue des Champs-Élysées leads to the Arc de Triomphe at the end surrounded by the L'Etoile, recently renamed to honour past President Charles de Gaulle (Place Charles de Gaulle).  Pedestrians can access the Arc de Triomphe via the underground tunnel. 

Commissioned in 1806 after Emperor Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz, the Arc de Triomphe wasn't completed until 1836 under King Louis Philippe.  There were various reasons for the delay.  Beneath the Arc de Triomphe lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.   The coffin was interred on Armistice Day 1920.


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La Grande Arche


Le Grande Arche, centre horizon, from the Arc de Triomphe-by DGH


A 20th-century version of the Arc de Triomphe, La Grande Arche de la Défense is a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals.  In the photo above, the Arche is the square hollow shape at the distant end of the street. The tall building on the right is the Palais des Congres de Paris.  The placement of the Grande Arche was specific and completed the line of monuments forming an axis that runs through Paris to the Louvre at the other end.

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Can you name other cities with interesting streets? Or streets that hold a special memory for you?  Please share in the comments if you do.


For more details on the City of Light,  check the Paris Posts Tab at the top of the page at my Rainforest Writing blog.  
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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arc_de_Triomphe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grande_Arche La Grande Arche

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moulin_de_la_Galette  Montmartre Trivia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouquinistes Booksellers

http://www.placesinfrance.com/history_arc_de_triomphe.html
Napoleon's Arch

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16 comments:

  1. That looks absolutely wonderful. I would love to visit Paris someday :)

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  2. Thanks, Mary. I hope you do get to visit Paris. We stayed in the Marais, on the Rue de Rivoli, very central. We could walk nearly everywhere, and we did.

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  3. Damn - nice shots there!!! Seriously good eye!

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you like the shots. I had a great time taking them.

      Thanks for dropping by.

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  4. Some day I'd love to photograph Paris. As far as interesting streets, none are coming to mind, though I'm sure I'll be slapping myself in the forehead within the next little bit when they do start springing up. Washington, D.C. has some interesting streets and phenomenal architecture.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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    1. You're the third person to recommend Washington DC, Shannon. Paris is very interesting to photograph, just name your preference-historical, cafes,monuments, statues, etc.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Welcome KarenG to my blog! Hope you like what you see and thanks for following.

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  6. Hi Jenni, welcome and thanks for the follow. I dropped by your blog,too!

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  7. Well your home in Canada sounds wonderful. I have always wanted to visit but no joy so far, must put it on my list! Loved your post too. Would you believe I have never been to Paris either.

    Thanks for dropping by and your comments. I adore waterfalls!

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    1. Thanks, Jenni, The west coast is beautiful, but I haven't seen any of the east coast yet, only the west and the prairies.

      It's on the list but not at the top. So I understand. (But you really ought to get over to Paris. You'll be inspired.)

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  8. Had been here last year (this time)
    what a wonderful place :-)

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    1. I agree, but then, everyone has their favourites. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I dropped by yours as well.

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  9. Welcome, loverofwords, thanks for the follow.

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  10. Welcome NiN, thanks for following.

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  11. Oh Paris! It's one of the many destinations that I want to see before my kids bring me to an Adult Family Home. Universe, bring me to Paris pleassee!

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    1. I recommend it! Paris is different for each person who visits it. (although I'd suggest gathering coins, rather than asking the Universe)

      A good book for a variety of views: 'Paris was Ours' by P. Rowlands (check my book reviews)

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