Monday, February 22, 2010

Paris old and new

It was quite odd being back in city life this past weekend. Normally I just go and visit the old buildings I love, but this time we also took in the financial centre of Paris called La Defense. The skyline around here looks more like Tokyo and I hadn't realised that there was indeed a modern side to Paris that dealt with Wall Street and Square Mile matters.

After all this modern architecture (incidentally in France the word architecture is pronounced with the first part being like the man's name Archie - the French feel that if there is an *h* in a word then pronounce the thing) a trip to my favourite area Madeleine was called for. I stared longingly in the window of Fauchon, my favourite foodie shop (just see what that link reveals - it really is a gourmand's paradise). Don't these cakes look gorgeous? I didn't eat any though - in fact I walked more than I thought I would and ate less than I'd planned.

Then a short stroll led us to Place de la Concorde which I mentioned in my previous post. I just did a few random shots - there was too much to go and see without thinking about carefully framing the photos.

Then another saunter to look at my favourite Paris department store Au Printemps

All that was done on the Saturday and then Sunday saw me coming home to my Valentine's Day bouquet one week old - the tulips are now standing tall.

If you click on it though you will see that some of the roses are fading fast so, after transplanting what was still thriving to a proper vase, this is what they look like now (and the two mini clothes pegs with the paste ruby hearts on will be put into my sentimentality box)


willow said...

I was hoping you'd show us some pics of your Paris trip!

North West London Girl said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip, but not much eating, how did you manage that?

Steve said...

I'd still be stuck at the cake shop... nose pressed to the glass.

Carol said...

'Move over a bit Steve' *nudges him gently with elbow*

I'm so glad you had a lovely time!! And BIG congratulations on resisting the cakes...I'm not sure I would have been able to!!

C x

Dash said...

Hello FF, So glad you had a good time. La Defense is like being in another city, so different from the rest of Paris. I bet you lost another couple of pounds with all that walking!

Maggie May said...

Lovely trip round Paris and the flowers are just gorgeous.

Nuts in May

Frankofile said...

You are becoming La Parisienne before our eyes. Fascinating shots of La Défense, too.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I'm now dying to get back to Paris, the Marais is my favourite area - even more great foodie (and clothie) shops to drool over.

Those roses are bloomin' marvellous!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Lovely photos! I've never had the chance to check out la Defense. But Fauchon (swoon)! I've been to the one in Manhattan. I wanted to take D to the one at Madeleine for tea during our honeymoon, but it was closed for renovations.

To answer your question -- it's March 8th :)

the fly in the web said...

You must have walked off another pound or two on your trip.
Lovely photographs...isn't Paris such fun to walk around?
I like the Clignancourt flea market....and used to walk from there through Montmartre down to the Tuileries gardens....
Thanks for the nostalgia trip.

Dumdad said...

I enjoyed looking at your pix - and I live in Paris! But you got the feel of the place.

Debs said...

I haven't been to Paris for about seven years, but these photos make me want to visit again.

Love the look of those cakes.

Angie Muresan said...

I am so very impressed with you resisting those delicious goodies, Julie. How did you ever manage?

lady macleod said...

I stay far away from the financial district. Both when I lived in Paris and now that I'm just a once a year visitor - sigh. You will find me in the later photographs. Lovely flowers.

Ken Devine said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Yes, it makes me want to go back.
Well done for really are being serious about it.

LadyFi said...

Lovely shots of modern Paris.. As for those cakes - how could you resist? You have a lot of willpower!

Veggie Carrie said...

Those cakes look delicious, well done for resisting. At least your beautiful flowers are calorie-free!

When VH and I went to Paris in September 2008, there was a group of girls around Place de la Concorde scamming people by getting them to pick up a ring they 'found' on the floor. A girl tried it on us, and then we saw her trying it on other people, and other girls doing the same. I don't know what they were trying to do really, but it looked dodgy!

Laura [What I Like] said...

One of those weird vacation lose weight when you have every intention of indulging...effortless slimming! One of the better things about going away i think.

Ayak said...

Glad you had a good weekend. The weather looks like it was OK, judging by the pics...which are lovely. I must go back to Paris again one day!

Phil Lowe said...

Fabbo pictures. Last time I went to go to Paris it was an icy cold December. I walked my feet off but I also used the metro system which I love. Bizzarly I like the metal handles on the doors that you flick and the doors slide open.

Kathy said...

Strolling through Paris, what could be more perfect for a weekend reunion with a loved one. I have not been to La Defence before, I thought it was Dubai!. Your beautiful flowers still look so fresh and pretty. Kathy.

French Fancy said...

willow - I'm a lazy photographer - I never take as many as most people

NWLG - you know what it is like at first on a new eating programme - one is so enthused it is effortless - let's see two month's down the line if I am so steadfast

Steve - the citron cake looked especially nice; I much prefer lemon flavoured things to chocolate ones

Carol - I felt like a little urchin, staring in at the lovely things and the people inside staring out at me

Dash - I was surprised by how many up escalators on the metro were not working. I was not happy. Moaning might even have taken place

Maggie - thank you

Frankie - Until recently I had no idea such a modern quarter existed in Paris.

Lu - I don't know the Marais very well; I have vowed to return soon and explore other areas though. I always go to the same old places - predictable? moi?

CT - I never realised there were other branches of Fauchon. But then I only knew very recently that The Ivy (london) had a place in NY

tfitw - I love the Tuilleries, especially in summer with the plantings

Dumdad - Just as I never used to explore London very much when I lived there, you probably don't get out and about in the Paris centre very much

Debs - go on, take a trip

Angie - I'm in the zone now - fingers crossed it's lasts :)

LadyM - hello and welcome to the blog. Everyone knew about La Defense but me then - I do live in a bit of a bubble I guess

Ken - hello there, why not take Bev on a romantic weekend there?

Ladyfi - the people inside eating were so tiny, I just don't know how they do it

Carrie - I've seen a similar thing near the Eiffel Tower too

Laura - that's it exactly. One is too occupied to be bored enough to eat just for the sake of it

Ayak - it was coldish but bright, a perfect winter's day

Phil - I'd never noticed the handles till this trip. Mind you I used to either walk or take cabs but this was our economical weekend

Kathy - they are wilting fast now that I have put them into a proper vase. Shame. I must press one like Lane suggested

Nora Johnson said...

Bonjour dear FF!

Thank you so much for yr lovely comment! It's great to be back. And how we share the same love of Paris - Fauchon, Au Printemps etc!!

Hope you're having a wonderful week,

xx LOLA:)

PS Love to Misty & Poppy!
PPS Sorry about Bob D - will change the music as soon as I can! xx

Lane said...

I'm so impressed you walked away from the cakes. They are works of art.

Beautiful photos. I've never really known what the financial district looks like before.

A Super Dilettante said...

It's like a mini holiday by looking at the photo of Paris. I love both old and new!! Parisians can't do anything wrong - aesthetically...just look at the design they put so much effort from their building down to their cakes!! Loving your department store- you must be like a kid in a sweet shop!!

e said...

Lovely photos...Looks as though there are many places one can roll with ease unless they are too steep...

I was a biped the last time I was there at 13...a lifetime ago.

Molly Potter said...

You look like you've been out 'experiencing.' How lovely. Must feel quite a contrast from your remote abode. Do you get over-stimulated like I do when I go to big cities?

Anonymous said...

I would like to walk around Paris with you so that you could show me all your favorite haunts. And the cakes look heavenly.

cheshire wife said...

Pleased that you got to see Mr FF even if it was a week late.

typejunky said...

Financial Districts are one of my fave places to shoot stuff, they always have so much pointless money slung at them, London's chunk around Broad street has given me some of my favourite shots. I've only ever taken pics of Paris' at a distance, you've persuaded me, next time...

French Fancy said...

Nora - gosh, aren't I annoying, complaining about people's music (and while we're about it Rob Bear - can we change the Abba please). I am so cheeky, sorry.

Re Au Printemps - it's the most amazing looking building really. The thing is that I've not actually been inside!

Lane - even though I love old classic buildings I do quie admire the sleekness of these big office blocks

ASD - I saw such stylish people, especially in Rue St Honore - some of them must have been models I think. Really impeccably turned out.

e - I think you would have had problems and this is something I went on and on about over the weekend. How ill-equipped the metro is for people with mobility problems. Many escalators were not working and some stops did not even have them. Anyone in a wheelchair would have been stuck there - it is just totally wrong in this day and age.

Molly - I was ok over the weekend but the first time we went back from France to the UK (Norwich)- well I remember going to John Lewis there and being in a state of frenzy at all the lovely things I could seee. I really was over-excited and almost hyper-ventilating.

Ian - anyone walking round with me has to be prepared for me to walk very slowly. Mr FF is used to me and walks on ahead, especially if there is a shoe shop coming into view. We always find each other in the end.

CW - I'm seeing him again this week. He's home at the weekend.

Hello typejunky, how nice to see you again. That financial district was made for experimental photos. The second one I've done - the triangular shape is within a huge arch that lines up with the Arc de Triomphe which can be seen in the distance. You'd have loved it.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I thought I commented before but obviously didn't.
Green with Paris-envy.
So impressed at your weight loss.
Saw "An Education" yesterday.
A MUST_SEE for us English ladies of a certain age.
CHIC CHIC PARIS. Gitanes, La Jeau de Paume (spelling!)
How Paris has changed since I spent much time there --some 40 years ago
realise I haven't been there for 15 years now -wow!
Anyway greetings from snowy gray NY.

French Fancy said...

Hello Elizabeth - I do that - sometimes think I left a comment and then it turns out I didn't - or, worse still - it suddenly disappears.

I'm not in the blogoshpere every day now so please forgive me if I miss the occasional entry of yours. It's so hard to keep up


Mark said...

Great photos - I love those modern buildings; and I think Paris mixes styles so well.

And as for those cakes...