Published: July 21st 2012July 20th 2012
First floor of Galleries Lafayette
Cosmetics galore, but the real beauty is the ceiling
It was Wednesday and we remembered a wonderful little market in our old neighborhood of Motte Piquette Grenelle, so we metro'd over and had a nice time reminiscing and buying various items. Then we took a walk over to the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower to check out the scene for the upcoming Bastille celebrations and found a gigantic mirror ball on a crane ready to be hoisted up somewhere on the Eiffel tower. The theme for this Quartorze de Juliette is 70's and 80's disco music, so the ball did make sense. Lots of people and police were milling about the plaza so we watched for a while and turned toward Ecole Militaire and out of the park by way of a ancient carousel. I remember this carousel because I brought my nieces here a few years ago. It is so old that the operator has to run alongside to get it going. He also hands each child a pointy stick with which to try to grab the "golden ring". Kids are lined up all over to get a ride and we watched them for a while, too, then left to find Saint Sulpice church. This is the
Convenient Husband Chairs
With sofas, vending machines, tv on floors 2-7 at Galleries Lafayette
famous church from The DaVinci Code with the Rose Line running through and the spring solstice sun shines in a perfect line...right where the line says it does. We saw a lot of cool street art and headed home to find some dinner. We ended up on rue de Lappe near the Bastille, thinking it was nearly Bastille day and something must be going on. It wasn't but we found a cool street of nothing but bars..each different than the one next door. We had a drink in one that was Dominican Republic themed, and found a "Cheers" sort of one nearby. Fun was had all around, but alas, we must stumble home to get up early to celebrate Bastille.
Thursday morning and we found that harder than we imagined. We wanted to be somewhere on the Champs Elysées to watch the military parade so we left the apt 45 minutes before the official flyover at 11. After we blew through a couple of closed metro stops, we realized being where we wanted was going to be a lot more difficult than previously thought. Who did we think we were? Getting up an hour before the biggest day in
View from the 2nd floor
France's history and expecting a prime spot? We found ourselves dumped out of the metro with the rest of the unsuspecting mob and walked to a street corner hoping to see some action. I found an unused concrete stump of a barrier to perch on and suddenly,here comes the parade! Prime spot to see various brigades of soldiers marching in perfect formation.some singing patriotic songs, some twirling their frenchhorns or rifles, others perfectly solemn. Our favorites were the guys in twirly white capes, and what we termed The Butcher Brigade, - complete with leather aprons and shiny axes. Big axes. Then the tanks rolled by and the sky divers floated down with red,white and blue parachutes, and it was over. I've never seen anything like a military parade before,not even when we spent 4th of July in Washington DC. The crowd was very well behaved and fans applauded the various brigades as the marched on. On the way out, we walked by Chanel and Dior and popped into the fabulous wine cave of Fauchon to gawk at the overpriced bottles of champagne. Most shops are closed for the holiday, so we went home to rest before the fireworks.
8 pm,we packed some sandwiches and headed across town toward the Eiffel Tower and the surrounding park of Champs de Mars. we knew it was at least a 2 hour wait and we wanted good views!having learned our morning lesson. By 10, the park was packed and we had to stand to give up our hard fought piece of sitting property. What little inconvenience that might have been totally gave into complete shock and awe at the sight of the first fireworks behind the tower. Perfectly timed to BeeGees, Donna Summer, and Michael Jackson -the fireworks lit up the sky and delighted every last one of us for a full 30 minutes. Most impressive, or perhaps a little post modern, was the moment when the entire park sang YMCA- complete with hand motions. It was magic although we did notice it was not patriotic at all. In the US, all the music is set to Grand Old Flag or America the Beatuiful, and everyone sings the national anthem. Not so here. It was light and frothy and almost silly. The girl next to us told us it was never serious and especially this year with the EU crisis and the
Complete with big shiny axes.
new president- why not just enjoy ourselves? Still,it was odd to my American ears to have not heard some sort of national anthem anywhere. And still weirder, the actual site of the Bastille, which was destroyed at the start of the French revolution and is marked with a very tall statue in the middle of a very busy roundabout, never seemed to have anything
going on. Lots of French flags flying everywhere, but that was it. Oh, a lots of folks wearing blue and white striped shirts, a la Francais!
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