Monday, July 30, 2012

La Défense - La Grande Arche

I give you.....La Grande Arche de la Défense. One of the first monuments I visited in Paris, not long after it was inaugurated in July 1989. Designed by Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen and Danish engineer Erik Reitzel, it was the initiative of French president François Mitterrand. It is a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals rather than military victories. Another reason to love it.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Charles de Gaulle Étoile - Avenue de la Grande Armee

This is the Avenue de la Grande Armee, the avenue directly across from the Champs-Élysées on the other side of the Arc de Triomphe. This avenue is continued by the avenue Charles-de-Gaulle as far as Neuilly-sur-Seine, towards la Défense home to La Grande Arche de la Défense, which you can see in the distant haze.

I visited La Grande Arche on my very first trip to Paris in 1989 and thus it holds a special place in my heart. Next week, more photos from la Defense.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Charles de Gaulle Étoile - Avenue Foch/Avenue Victor Hugo

Arguably the loveliest of the avenues as viewed from the Arc de Triomphe, I love how these streets meet to form a small triangular island in the middle of Paris.

Avenue Foch (on the left) is one of the most prestigious streets in Paris, with palaces of the rich and famous all along its chestnut-lined course.

Avenue Victor Hugo (on the right) is the second-longest of the avenues off of the Place Charles de Galle (after the Champs-Élysées) and prestigious in its own right. My first French boyfriend lived on this street and always said it with an air of importance that to this day I hear every time I say, "Avenue Victor Hugo."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Charles de Gaulle Étoile - Avenue des Champs-Élysées

From the top of the Arc de Triomphe, you can see twelve of the most famous avenues in Paris including the granddaddy of them all, the Champs-Élysées. (Literally translated as "Elysian Fields.")

Friday, July 20, 2012

Arc de Triomphe - View from the Top

Even on a hazy day the view from the top is amazing! Remember this one? Next week, more from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Arc de Triomphe - Staircase

To get to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, you must climb 284 steps up a winding staircase. That's actually not too bad when you compare it to the other Parisian monuments tourists traditionally climb: Notre Dame (402), La Tour Eiffel (~710).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Arc de Triomphe - Plans de Arc

Here is an architectural schematic of the Arc I thought was kind of neat. Plus a video that gives you the "inside scoop."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Arc de Triomphe - The Arch

This week, another icon of Paris - the Arc de Triomphe. Paris' Triumphal Arc sits in the center of Place Charles de Galle at the western end of the Champs-Élysées and honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars.

(In the interest of full disclosure I think it is important to point out that I did not take this picture. I neglected to photograph the arc in all its glory - doh! - so thanks to my friend Sean for this pic :)]

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Seize the Day in Paris - Bastille

#4 - Visit Place de la Bastille and imagine you are a French revolutionary.  Today would be an especially good day for this :)  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Seize the Day in Paris - Place de la Concorde

#3 - Hang out around the Place de la Concorde, one of the major public squares in Paris. (Be careful crossing the street!)

Sandwiched between the Champs-Élysées to the west and the Jardin des Tuileries to the east, there is much to see here. The Obélisque de Louxor (Luxor Obelisk, pictured) stands at the center of the place, which is also home to La Madeline, the Hôtel de Crillon and the American Embassy. This is also where Queen Marie Antoinette and many others were beheaded during the French Revolution.

On the day we were there, we saw a rally for the rights of motorcyclists on the streets of Paris.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Seize the Day in Paris - Sacré-Cœur

This week, some of my favorite ways to "carpe diem" in Paris......
#1 - Climb Montmartre all the way up to Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. (No need for a run today :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sagesse - Carpe Diem

On the side of a bus this reminder to Seize the Day! Never a better idea than on a day in Paris.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sagesse - St Vincent de Paul

"The poor are our masters." Saint Vincent de Paul was a Catholic Priest who devoted his life to serving the poor. He was canonized in 1737.

This quote reminds me of the more famous Ghandi quote, "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July - La Liberté éclairant le monde!

We interrupt the regularly scheduled topic to bring you this special 4th of July post....

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World - La Liberté éclairant le monde) was a gift to the United States from the people of France in 1886. She represents the Roman Goddess of Freedom (Libertas) and on the tablet she holds is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence which we celebrate today.

This replica of the Statue of Liberty can be seen outside the Musée des Arts et Métiers (Museum of Arts and Crafts). It is one of three replicas in Paris and many replicas across the globe

Happy 4th of July Lady Liberty!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sagesse - For Families

This was posted in one of the many churches we ventured into while walking across the city. "To build a family, it is important to evolve together, to move forward together, to come together."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sagesse - From Andy Warhol

I have always found the city of Paris to be a deep well from which much can be gleaned about how best to live. On this trip in particular I saw words of wisdom all around me (and sometimes just words). This week, Wisdom from Paris.

And today from Andy Warhol this gem: "I broke something today and I realized I should break something once a week to remind me how fragile life is." Only the French would think to put this wisdom on a ceramic cup, so easily broken.