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Paris: city lights, camera and passion


December 6, 2010/0.17

Ernest Hemingway called Paris ‘a movable feast’. During the holiday season ‘a feast’ is exactly what this city is!
   During this time of year, the sun sets in the early afternoon and the cold wind cuts the skin like a sharp dagger. While walking down the long French avenues the smell of roasting chestnuts warms one’s heart and the surrounding bright lights constantly twinkle and shine.
   The famous Champs-Élysées turns on its Christmas lights, illuminating the path from the Arc de Triomphe up to Place de la Concorde. This year, French actress Mélanie Laurent had the opportunity to turn the lights on at the lighting ceremony. She stood alongside the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë.
   Laurent came in style, wearing a black Miu Miu autumn–winter 2010 coat accompanied with knee-high boats. She kept it simple but elegant. In the past, other famous French faces had the honour to be in the same spot as Laurent including Vanessa Paradis and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
   The Champs-Élysées is not the only area in Paris that embraces the exquisiteness of the holiday spirit: shops design their windows and make them glow for many to enjoy. A number of avenues are decorated and other typical ‘French’-designed streets, small and narrow, are highly animated with a wide range of food, wine and artisanal items to choose from.
   Another area that attracts a large number of people from all over the world is Galerie Lafayette and Les Printemps. On November 4, Galeries Lafayette illuminated its bright holiday lights in a demonstration called Show Chaud Noël. The theme for this year’s window decorations is based on comedy musicals, each marvellously decorated, attracting spectators of all ages.
   As people walk up and down the French streets the cold is disregarded and the crowd is overlooked. But if hunger strikes while taking a stroll, there is almost always a food stand to fulfil one’s appetite; a selection of traditional hot crêpes or gaufres or simply a vin chaud to warm one’s insides.—Lola Saab, Paris Editor

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