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The City of Light so Bright

The City of Light is even brighter these days.

While six Paris suburbs are glowing brightly from the burning vehichles and buildings as a result of the unrest resulting from the deaths of two teens whose motorcycle collided with a police car Sunday night, Christmas lights are shining down on calm city streets.

We see it on the news. We read about it in the papers. We even get news alerts in our email inboxes. But the only noise we heard last night on rue de Bretagne was the sound of someone talking on a baguette…at least it looked that way to us the way the baguette was poised against his ear obsuring what logically must have been a cell phone (!).

The Mairie (City Hall) of the 3rd Arrondissement is lit with holiday cheer along with more than 100 specially illuminated sites across the city. Orchestrated by the City Hall of Paris, the Chambre de Commerce et de l’Industrie along with the Office de Tourisme et des Congrès de Paris, the neighborhoods in the capital city are glowing…but not by the light of burning metal, but by the electrical sparks of talented lighting designers and engineers.

Mayor Bertrand Delanoë was present to inaugurate the illumination of the Champs-Elysées on Monday evening describing it at as audacious, elegant, esthetically pleasing and energy efficient. At the same moment, 100 “quartiers” lit up their dark wintery streets and invited the public at large to join
in the celebration of creativity, innovation, and respect for the environment.

Here’s where you can find a few near you:

2nd: Rue Montorgueil: “Forêt de Lumière”
3rd: Rue de Bretagne: “Les Couronnes des Bretagne”
4th: Rue Rambuteau: “Éclats d’Hiver”
5th: Rue Mouffetard, Place Église Saint Médard, Place de la Contre Escarpe: “Mouff’ Stars”
6th: Rue Saint Placide, rue du Cherche Midi: “Drapé Scintillant”
5th to 6th: Boulevard Saint Germain, Place Saint Germain des Prés: “Brillante est la Nuit”
7th: Rues Saint Dominique, de Grenelle, Malar, Jean Nicot: “Pluie de Corolles»
8th: Avenue Montaigne: “Organdi”
9th: Rue Caumartin: “Christmas Canada”
10th: Boulevard Magenta: “Ilot de Lumière”
11th: Rue Oberkampf, rue Parmentier: “Disques d’Or”
12th: Viaduc des Arts: “Arcades Étoilées”
13th: Avenue des Gobelins, avenue d’ Italie: “Soleil Couchant”
14th: Rue d’Alésia, rue des Plantes: “Dans les Nuages d’Alésia”
15th: Rue Lecourbe, rue Cambronne: ” Boules d’Étoiles”
16th: Village d’Auteuil: “Ciel d’Or à Auteuil”
17th: Rue de Courcelles: “Les Bijoux de Courcelles”
18th: Place et rue des Abbesses, rues Lepic, A. Bruant, Tholozé, de Maistre, Véron: “20 000 Feux sous Montmartre”
19th- Quartier Jean-Jaurès: “L’Écume Glacée: La Vague Dorée: L’Onde Enflammée”
20th- Rue de Belleville, rue du Jourdain: “Le Cœur du Village s’Illumine”

A 28-page guide of “Paris Illumine Paris 2007” is available in merchants’ locations all over the city and at the City Halls of each district, or by clicking here for an online version: There is also more information at three Web sites:,,

Don’t forget to bring your camera when you visit the sites. It’s your opportunity to capture the beauty and enter your best shots in this year’s photo contest. From now until January 1st, snap away at Paris illuminations and then enter to win some exciting prizes…Canon cameras, camcorders and free prints. For complete information, visit:

A la prochaine…  

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris


P.S. Take Saturday afternoon December 1st to write from a creative storm! Walk-ins are welcome to James Navé’s creative writing workshop that crackles with passion, fun and spontaneity…WRITING FROM THE IMAGINATIVE STORM WORKSHOP! 3 hours (3 to 6 p.m.), 30 euros at the door (La Pierre du Marais). Visit /frenchproperty/conference/ for details and to reserve your place, email [email protected]

P.P.S. Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 29th to celebrate the photographs and writing by Erica Simone…based on her recent book…”A Vivid World.” This special event is sponsored by Grace Teshima. Visit /frenchproperty/conference/ for more information.


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