Tuesday, 9 October 2012

La Défense


A little bit of 6th ave in Manhattan, just outside of Paris in the aire urbaine.


La Défense is the business end of Paris. I recently spend an afternoon wandering around in the canyons. Unlike midtown, the whole main axis is a pedestrian plaza, so it's much quieter than you would expect. The grand arch completes the straight line of monuments called Axe historique that start with the Louvre, the Concord monument, down the Champs Élysées, through the Arc de Triomphe.


It's a little sterile, with malls and mall shops and mall food, and even a giant shop that is described as "The French WalMart".


I did something that I never, ever do...I grabbed a sandwich and a bag of chips at Pret a Manger (I didn't even know they had these in Paris!) and sat on the steps of the grand arch with the working people and had a nice sunshiny lunch.

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There's a lot of really big companies out here...there isn't a whole lot of vertical office space in Paris, so they moved the office park way out to the 'burbs.


Towers, glass, metal, abstract sculptures. Just not what you would expect in Paris.

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