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Lucky to Live Along the Champs-Elysées

 9-12-13ChampsElysees-6View of the Champs-Elysées from the boys’ apartmentThe Grande Roue on the Champs-ElyséesThe Grande Roue on the Champs-ElyséesRond Point at the Champs-ElyséesLights on Rond Point at the Champs-ElyséesThe Champs-ElyséesThe Champs-ElyséesThe Christmas MarketThe Christmas MarketThe Christmas Market

Some people have all the lucky rolls…or at least they make their lucky rolls by setting themselves up to have all the luck.*

These two American guys had the luck of landing a luxurious penthouse apartment directly on the Champs-Elysées with a 40 square-meter terrace facing south. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they had a professional property-finder hired by their company or that their budget facilitated such a ‘plum’ location.) And I was lucky enough to be invited to witness the Christmas festivities along the world’s most famous avenue from their apartment terrace.

Exiting the Métro at the Franklin D. Roosevelt station at 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday night was not lucky. In fact, it was more like taking one’s life into one’s own hands with it so overcrowded that there was a back-up at the top of the escalators causing human pile-ups. Surviving it was well worth it. You exit there at Rond Point (Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées-Marcel-Dassault), created in 1670 where the two segments of the avenue connect along with avenues Montaigne, Matignon, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The six segments of the circle are always planted and decorated to the theme of the season and in this case, with the Christmas lights in this year’s decorative theme. Exiting the Métro was like rising from hell to a heavenly winterland. Get out your sunglasses — you will need them! From this vantage point, one may wander eastbound along the avenue and the annual Christmas Market toward Place de la Concorde and the “Grande Roue” (Ferris Wheel — or or westbound along the avenue’s most opulent shops toward the Arc de Triomphe.

The Christmas Market is in its 5th year running and is open from 10:30 a.m. to midnight (and till 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays) everyday between now and January 5th, 2014. The Grande Roue, 60 meters high, open from 11 a.m. to midnight every day, is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year.

For those who want a truly Parisian holiday experience, shopping the market or just having a “Vin Chaud” (mulled wine) along the way, then riding to the top of the wheel for the impressive views is a must-do…unless you have friends who live on the Champs-Elysées with all the luck!

On the avenue, the lighting consists of three rings of different diameters around each tree, of different heights, ‘floating’ around 200 trees. Each rings is made of LED RGB (red, green, blue) and changes color in formation. The decorations, created by Koert Vermeulen and Marcos Vinals Bassols of the Belgian company ACT Lighting Design, in collaboration with ASP Blue Square, were inaugurated Thursday, November 21st with the help of actress Laetitia Casta and the Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë.

From the guys’ terrace, all of the Champs-Elysées is on display, including a straight-on view of La Tour Eiffel. It may well be even better than the view from the Roue and these guys have it every day of the week. Of course, they live on what we might call “the parade route” — and while that might sound like a joke, it’s not. The Champs-Elysées is home to every parade that takes place in Paris! (But, that’s not so bad, either, don’t you think?)

*Footnote: This describes the game of Backgammon. Backgammon is really the game of Life in disguise. Like in life, the roll of the dice is 100% luck, but then you move your pieces strategically to set up your future ‘lucky’ rolls. I once had a Backgammon partner who said, “You get all the lucky rolls,” to which I replied, “If you say that, I know you don’t know how to play,” and we never played again.

A la prochaine…

adrian1213Adrian Leeds

Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC 

Respond to Adrian 


Jean-Baptiste Puyraud and Katya Jezzard-PuyraudP.S. If you want to start a business in France, join us Tuesday, December 10 at 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., for Parler Paris Après -midi when Jean-Baptiste Puyraud and Katya Jezzard-Puyraud discuss “Setting Up & Doing Business in France.” This Anglo-French husband and wife team run Euro Start Entreprises, helping people open their businesses worldwide. We meet upstairs at La Pierre du Marais on the corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers. Information available at Parler Paris Après


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