Saturday, May 31, 2014

Les restos de la Rue de Lappe

I walked over to the Bastille market Thursday morning to pick up some ingredients for our veal Amalfi dish and took a short-cut on the way back, through Rue de Lappe, which runs between Rue de la Roquette and Rue de Charonne, in the 11th. It is just a little side-street, not a lot wider than an alley, a couple blocks long. After a few hundred feet of walking, I was struck by the colorful restaurants along the way, and then by their number and variety. Thursday morning it was quiet and nearly deserted. By night it is one of the Bastille area's more lively locations.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

La Défense, les sculptures

French law evidently requires that if you put up a big building, you have to adorn the grounds with sculpture. So here is a smattering of sculpture from La Defense...
The original La Defense, a monument to the French killed in
the 1870 Franco-Prussian war

Water features are sculpture; according to me

Sculpture and green space


Updated Burghers of Calais?

Through a huge water feature/sculpture thing, looking back to the central city

La Défense, les bâtiments

So Vicki and I have been to Paris we don't know how many times, and we had never visited La Defense, the now-50-year-old "New Paris" across a bend in the river, the world's largest purpose-built business center. I guess we had always thought it wasn't the "real" Paris. Niece Stacey had read some things that led her to want to see it, and Tuesday morning we all took the #1 Metro from Nation all the way out to La Defense. We're glad we did. The #1 Metro is automated, and you can stand right where the driver would be and watch the train wend its way all through its Paris underground. Cool. (I'll post a video here later.) But it was La Defense itself that was stunning, almost overwhelming...mostly the architecture and sculpture. Yes, you should see Note Dame, and the Arch of Triumph, and the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre, etc., but do make time to whisk yourself out to La Defense and see what the architects and builders of your own day have done. The main feature is the Grand Arch, finished for the bicentennial in 1989, but there is plenty else to look at. The pix will have to speak for themselves...
The Grand Arch, actually a huge office building and gathering place

Closer up

Under the arch...elevators

Looking down the huge the distance, central Paris, and the other Arch

Shopping malls


Panning around at all the buildings...

Tidying up the roof over one of the shopping malls

Inside said mall; we spent a lot of time at the Decathlon, biggest if not best of
all the outdoors stores here (sorry, REI, you're not even close)

More buildings, architecture


Ditto again

And again


Le shopping

Our goal was to visit the great department stores in the Opera district, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. But we had to visit many other shoppes and arcades first.

And thus

We passed by the old Opera Garnier; I paused to point out the Cafe de la Paix,
but no one in our party, other than me, is into the coffee/cafe thing

At length, we got to Printemps

Explored it

A bit

Then opted for the more impressive Galeries Lafayette

Whose central dome would be the main attraction in any
church, opera house, or museum...besides, Galeries Lafatette
has an Amorini's

And visited the roof for some great views--despite the clouds--of the city

Opera Garnier, other side

Route of the day: Notre Dame


Les Halles and St. Eustace

And other old friends

More skyline

The great dome itself

Us, there