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Paris Christmas Crap: Champs Elysées


The Champs Elysées is dubbed lovingly "the most beautiful avenue on Earth" by Parisians who probably wouldn't set a foot in its tourist traps and chain stores even if their life depended on it. But, oh joy, on Christmas time the entire park part of it turns into the most disgusting Christmas market you can find for miles.
To the sound of mass traffic coming to you from the avenue is added cheap Xmas music and the stench of a thousand saussage and soup joints as well as the usual suspicious looking Xmas craft shops that sell products that almost look like they got manufactured in some sweatshop in a far away land.
All these lovely things are set up inside rows of white painted wooden barracks that resemble some POW camps.


Let us eat our overpriced crêpes at this feeding stand facing the exhaust fumes of a thousand tourist busses.

You have to admire the effort here to communicate in English: "Here come visit all"...

And they hung Santa Clause along with his sleigh high up into the trees... for some reason

Maybe they'll do an effigy burning later on?

Oh yes, before I forget: This year's Xmas lights are really a feast for the eyes. Along with the usual strings of lights, some trees bear what appears to be hula hoops. I'm sure there is a deeper philosophical explication to this. But seriously I don't care. Looks cheap. But do not despair, because someone came along with the highly ingenious idea to couple the hula hoops with some shiny plastic bling hanging thigs that make it look like some magic Xmas pixie shat glitter into each tree.

There also seems to be a slide of some sorts, but at this point I had enough of my five seconds on the clogged walkway and decided to take the backstreet and avoid being stampeeded by a flock of saussage swinging tourists.

I'll rather finish with a couple of shots of the freshly renovated LeNôtre pavilion and its gracious stonework from another time.


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Paris Christmas Crap: Place Vendôme


Oh my lord, it's Christmas time once again and Paris has geared up its ugly decorations as usual. How sad to see that the city of arts and lights never manages to live up to its reputation when it comes to spending a decent buck on a less cheap looking enhancement for the end of year holidays.

Place Vendôme with all its high end luxury boutiques really outdoes itself each year in coming up with a new and even less creative way to recycle once again its modulable bunch of cheap looking white plastic tubes into a new constellation.
A few years ago they bundled them up to look like disillusioned anorexic xmas trees drawn up by some constructivist amateur on acid.
This time they tried to go for something vaguely resembling snow flake patterns... snow flakes as if they were built by a group of kindergardeners under the direction of a floral arangement maker who lost interest in life. Paint them in black and you actually get a quite satisfying display of dead trees drawn by Tim Burton.
The lights added to these sculpties don't necessarily enhance the experience.



Next stop: the Christmas market on the Champs Elysées.

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The Pythian Temple

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    I am Cedric, discoverer of things that would go unnoticed in the streets of Paris, historic haven of fashionistas and city of lights ('lights' as in 'enlightenment', not street lights).
    But seriously: I'm an expat from Luxembourg (the country, not the garden), living in the center of Paris (hence 'Paris 2nd arrondissement'), and currenlty studying architectural history...

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