L’Avenue des Champs-Elysées

I like this moment. Notice the action of the pedestrians crossing the avenue along the pedestrian crossing in the foreground (and their shadows) and the cars along it, the traffic further down and the people (a lot of them tourists) along the pavements on both sides (and their shadows).

Fuji GS645S Professional rangefinder camera and Kodak TMAX 100 ISO 120mm black and white film.

Several metro lines run through the Champs-Élysées. And several metro stations line this, the most famous avenue in the world.

The first time that I set foot on the Champs-Élysées I remember thinking to myself, “Jim Morrison was here! Elvis too. Perhaps”.

I turned left. Up in the distance was the Obelisk of the Place de la Concorde. I recognised it from the black and white illustrations in the French textbooks at school, some fifteen years ago. “…if this thing is here, then this must be the Champs-Élysées and l’ Arc de Triomphe has got to be…”, I turned right and there it was! It looked commanding and authoritative. It’ll go down as one of the most magnificent and majestic monuments that I have seen.

Cafes line the Champs-Élysées. I recommend L’Atelier Renault, 53 Champs-Élysées. French salads, wine, cheese etc. is the best I’ve had. The ducks, the grills, the Camembert, the Bordeaux. A special mention for Perrier and the beer 1664.

It had something to do with the government talking about increasing the retirement age from 60 to 62. Public-sector workers did a strike in protest. On one of the evenings, I had a hard time with the metros at Concorde metro station in that I didn’t manage to squeeze into any of the three that showed up in the one hour. All of the compartments were packed with people, as frequencies had been cut from say six or seven to three in the one-hour.

The terraces of the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile had been kept shut in protest. I did get atop the Arc de Triomphe on the final afternoon of my four-day trip to Paris and looked over the Champs-Élysées from a height of one hundred and sixty feet. And the rest is history!


39 thoughts on “L’Avenue des Champs-Elysées

  1. i didn’t know the champs elysees was in bombay, giggle, i’m being funny, in case you hadn’t noticed 🙂 way to world travel and TAKE PICTURES of it!! wonderful

  2. A great view from up there and that Champs-Elysées is so long! I would have thought it would be more busy, but maybe you were very late or early up there 😉

  3. Is this the perspective from atop the Arc de Triomphe? Loved the accompanying text too…I thought some lines along the same line…though must admit mine was more recent like the victory procession of Zinedine Zidane’s World Cup winning team..:D

  4. fantastic photo – it’s been over 25 years since I was there – yikes!!! Interesting that it had to be closed due to protest. Most workers here will be happy to retire – even at 62 the way things are going 😀

  5. Pingback: The Zone System in Black and White Photography « fables by an urban lad from bombay.

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