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Photos and text, unless otherwise noted, Copyright 2003,2004,2005,2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Monday, 10 October 2005

Topic: Photos

Our Man in Paris: Goddesses on Display (with photos)
As mentioned previously, from the BBC: Citroen 'goddess' feted in Paris (byline Hugh Schofield) -
France has marked the 50th anniversary of one of the great design icons of the last century - the Citroen DS, or Deesse, saloon car.

Hundreds of DS cars from around Europe drove in procession past the Arc de Triomphe in central Paris.

Known by its nickname, the Goddess - Deesse in French - the car was an instant sensation when it went on display at the Paris car show in 1955.

Nearly one-and-a-half million were made during its 20 years in production. …
AFP: Paris Rally Marks Birthday Of The 'Goddess' - Design Icon On Wheels -
PARIS, Oct 9 (AFP) - Hundreds of "Goddesses" paraded through central Paris on Sunday morning - not a religious festival or a fashion show, but a rally to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the great design icons of the last century: the Citroen DS saloon car. …
From Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis, and on-the-scene report, with photos -
Sunday Goddess

PARIS, Monday, October 10: - I should have gone to see the DS parade even if it was so early in the morning. The weather was clear; it was warm and still. I thought, oh, another big event on the Champs-Elysées. It is two-thirds as wide as a football field is long and it's very long. Put in 1600 DS' sliding down it and what have you got? The Champs Elysées part of their parade wasn't even shown on the TV-news. I can't trust them with anything.

So I was finally up there, probably about three hours later, figuring that some of these DS crazies would be taking Sunday drives. A lot of people do - come in at Concorde and sweep around the Obelisque and hit the avenue with its super long view up to the Arc, and roll up there and twirl around the Etoile in the sunshine - you can go around as often as you want - it's free. And then peel off into the top of the avenue and nearly coast all the way back to Concorde, using the Obelisque as the gunsight blade behind the doodad on the hood.

Meanwhile, a quarter-million folks are on the sidewalks, one on the sunny side and the other in the shade. Most of the shops are closed but all the cinemas, restaurants and cafés are open and many have terraces even on the shady side. Plus Louis Vuitton is having a gala opening at George V - Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman, Winona Ryder among the VIPs and 2000 other glitzer volk, not forgetting Catherine Deneuve of course. In the evening only the newly renovated Petit Palais is good enough for the ball, possibly because the newly renovated Grand Palais across the street is full of some other grand promo.

When you get to the Rond-Point you leave the 'famous' Champs Elysées for the rest, which is equally long and wide, but is flanked by wide paths and lines of trees. In these are ritzy pavilions, parks, theatres and the palaces, the Petit and Grand. The used stamp market is in here [as in the movie - editor] and there are rustic snack kiosks, toilets, and it is a long park on either side of the avenue, with the leaves going brown at the moment.

The avenue ends, or begins, at the Place de la Concorde. This is a big stone place with an island in the middle with the Obelisque sticking up and two fountains, one of the seas and the other of rivers. Folks making the trek from the Tuileries on the other side stop to inspect the gilt diagrams on the Obelisque and wonder about the sexual aspects of the fountain figures. You could say that Concorde with its Obelisque and Etoile with its Arc form a unit joined by the Champs-Elys?es and the whole otto is a singularly rich and unique experience several kilometres long and very wide.

Others might say that it extends through the garden of the Tuileries to the east wing of the Louvre in the Cour Napoléeacute;on. If you stand by this wing you can see the close-up Pyramid, slightly off the axis, the Obelisque and the Arc way off in the distance. It is in fact a geographical unit, actually extending beyond the Arc, but the Champs Elysées part is a piece of its own. For a straight-line walk it has to be one of the best and it's hard to think of anywhere else that matches it. Of course, a sunny Sunday makes it better.

And I was right. Swimming along with the Sunday drivers were these shark-like cars, the Citroën DS. Fifty years later, coming into the avenue at Clemenceau past the Grand Palais where they were first shown to an astonished driving public. Now doing the rounds of the Champs-Elysées in the October sunshine with the windows open, like God in France.

The Photos

A classic:

The setting:

"Come in at Concorde and sweep around the Obelisque and hit the avenue with its super long view up to the Arc, and roll up there and twirl around the Etoile in the sunshine - you can go around as often as you want - it's free."

At speed:

Yes, Planet Hollywood on the Champs Elysées -

Photos and Text, Copyright © 2005 - Ric Erickson, MetropoleParis

Editor's Note:

This grand promo at the Grand Palais? See Paris fashion week turns heads - "About 100 ready-to-wear shows are scheduled at various venues until October 10, including at some of Paris' architectural jewels such as the Grand Palais, reopened just last month after a 12-year renovation." Recent photos in Just Above Sunset here and here - and the official site of Les Galeries nationales du Grand Palais.

That opening? Louis Vuitton to Inaugurate Largest Store on Champs Elysees.

Orientation - from Google Earth -

... the Grand Palais

The Champs Elysées

Posted by Alan at 11:01 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 10 October 2005 23:57 PDT home

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