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Paris Illuminated

Monday night I headed down rue de Bretagne to see and hear Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë speak before a hundred or more residents of the district at the Mairie (city hall) — a public visit he pays to each and every arrondissement between September and December. I never want to miss it. This is an opportunity for the residents of the 3rd arrondissement to have the eyes and ears of the Mayor of Paris, the Mayor of the 3rd, Pierre Aidenbaum, the city council and the district council. Of utmost concern to the citizens were affordable housing, particularly for the less fortunate, and the overwhelming current reconstruction of the city which is discouraging vehicular traffic; encouraging pedestrian traffic (to which I am not opposed!).

Along the way, I was struck by the newly lit and decorated shopping street of rue de Bretagne, the heart and spine of the 3rd. Each tree, which is less than two years old (since the renovation of the sidewalks a couple summers ago), is literally crowned in lights. Made up of curtains of tiny lights, some flashing, the crown represents the nobility the street has never lost, even in less affluent times. The Mairie is also crowned in lights, but blue ones, and trees in the Square du Temple are illuminated as well.

The creative lighting is part of the city-wide program “Paris Illumine Paris 06.” First initiated in 2004 to encourage the merchant associations to participate in beautifying the city during the holiday season, now more than 30 associations have worked directly with lighting designers to create something unique for their neighborhoods. Not bad growth from the five who first took part in 2004.

Under the auspices of Gilles Muller, General Coordinator, the team is comprised of Jean-Pierre Maquair, Artistic Director; Eric Pescher, Lighting Designer and JL Morin, Installer. Xavier Belvaux gets credit for organizing the association of the merchants of rue de Bretagne.

You won’t have to look hard to find them, but if you’d like to take an evening tour of the illustrious illuminations, here’s where you’ll find them:


3rd – Rue de Bretagne – “Les Couronnes de Bretagne” 4th – Place du Marché Sainte Catherine – “Éclats d’Hiver”
– Quartier Saint Paul, Rue Charlemagne – “Fenêtre Saint Paul”
– Rue du Trésor – “Trésor Blanc”
5th – Rue Mouffetard, Place Église Saint Médard et Contre Escarpe
– “Mouff’Stars”
6th – Rue Saint Placide – “Drapé Scintillant”
– Place Saint Germain des Prés – “Voile de Lumière”
7th – Rues Saint Dominique, de Grenelle, Amélie, Malar
– “Or et Soieries”
8th – Avenue Montaigne – “Organdi 9th – Rue Vignon – “Bleue est la Nuit”
– Rue Caumartin – “Christmas Canada”
10th – Marché Saint Quentin – “Les Perles de Magenta” 12th – Arches du Viaduc- “Arcades Étoilées”
– Rues Crozatier, d’Aligre, Cotte – “Les Étoiles d’Aligre”
13th – Boulevard Masséna – “Muraille de Lumières M13” 14th – Rue Didot – “Les Cascades de Didot”
– Rue Losserand – “Plein les Cieux”
15th – Rues Lecourbe, Cambronne – “Boules Étoilées”
– Rues Félix Faure, de la Convention – “Myriades Éphémères”
– Rue du Commerce – “Étals Étincelants”
16th – Rue de Passy – “Passy by Passy”
– Place Victor Hugo – “Sapin Féérique”
17th – Place des Ternes – “Larmes Étincelantes”
– Avenue des Ternes – “Les Ternes en Galaxie”
– Avenue de Saint Ouen – “La Rivière de Lumière de Saint Ouen”
18th – Boulevard Ney, Avenue de la Porte Montmartre
– “Couleurs et Lumières”
– Rues Lepic, de Maistre, Véron, Rue des Abbesses
– “20000 Feux sous Montmartre”
– Place du Tertre – “Esquisses”

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. Don’t forget to book your seat at the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Seminar December 29th…the perfect time to enjoy the holidays in Paris and learn all you need to learn to make your dream to live and invest in France come true! Visit /frenchproperty/conference


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