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Discover Paris in a blog

AlexandraBorn in Paris, in love with Paris, 100 % parisian in a word: it is with great pleasure and pride that I accepted the challenge to write on my beloved city, to describe and share with you my 35+ years of experience with Paris. My purpose here is not to make another guide of Paris, but to tell you about "my Paris", its streets, underground, passages and parisian cafes, giving details on some walks which were memorable to me or sharing with you my interest for architecture.

Far from being exhaustive, these short discovery cards of Paris are modest and aim to give you my vision of Paris, which I hope you will share at the end of your stay. I fully reckon my chauvinism, no worries... But after all, isn’t Paris the most beautiful city in the world? The capital of luxury, fashion, literature and art? The motherland of any kind of revolutions in a word? As Rastignac said: "I am all yours Paris!".

Alexandra



Paris department stores PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexandra Bodji   
Monday, 09 May 2011 04:31

Poster of the "Bon Marché""Women are queens in stores. Once inside, they must feel as if there were in a temple built in their glory." (Emile Zola)

Symbol of the French Touch and also in charge of the Parisian elegance, department stores are an institution in the city landscape. Urban fantasy, they attract the lure of the shopping spree. Tastes and trends promoters have played an important role in the emancipation of women. The democratisation of consumption did so too.

The Second Empire was the period when the concept of department store has been developed. Industrial revolution enabled mass production. All a women needed to dress up was available: drapery, haberdashery, hosiery, lace, flowers etc. Innovative practices transformed the retail trade: the bargain was not possible anymore as the prices were displayed, also admission was free. In fact everything was done to seduce the customer and to encourage him to enter: prices were attractive given the volume, sales period were invented to accelerate the inventory turnover, deliveries, mail order and advertising were all started too. With the expansion of the railway, goods could better circulate. As a consequence, provinces could easily follow the Parisian trend.

The fist born was the Bon Marché. In 1852, Aristide Bourcicaut associated himself with the owner of a small hosiery shop which sign was "Bon Marché". Within only 12 years, the "Bon Marché" became the first department store. Success was immediate.

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The Rue Mallet-Stevens PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexandra Bodji   
Monday, 18 April 2011 04:31

Hôtel Martel, 10 rue Mallets-StevensArchitect and designer strongly influenced by Joseph Hoffmann and by Wienerwerkstätte (Vienna Workshops), Robert Mallet-Stevens, is in France before 1914 and before Le Corbusier, his exact contemporary, one of the first to react against the frills of modern style and one of the first to promote an universal architecture rejecting the scenery and the regionalism. Like Le Corbusier, he opted for the concrete frame, denied the benefit of traditional window glass panel, extols the open plan and smooth the geometric volumes.

A street in Paris that bears his name during his living

In the Rue Mallet-Stevens in Auteuil neighborhood, he creates an ideal modern city, made up of urban hotels. Among other, there is his agency at No. 12, a sculptor workshop house of sculptors Joel and Jan Martel at No. 10, many mansions places belonging to the pianist Madame Reifensberg at No. 8, Daniel Dreyfus at No. 7 and Madame Allatini at No. 3/5. The housekeeper's is located at the bottom of the track at No. 1.

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Paris, the city of Haussmann's PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexandra Bodji   
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 04:31

Rue de Turbigo

Georges Eugène Haussmann (1809-1891), commonly known as Baron Haussmann, conducted at the request of Napoleon III the transformation of Paris under the Second Empire by developing an extensive renovation plan. It changed the face of Paris by bringing some unity to the Parisian landscape.

The historical context

In the mid-19th century, the population of Paris experienced a significant growth, mainly due to high immigration that began during the Empire. In 1833 there were 527,000 people in Paris.

In addition to the demographic growth, Paris started its industrialization with among others, the introduction of railways, implying the proliferation of small boutiques and factories. Social differences are more marked, the miserable proletariat piled in the old quarters of the center described by Balzac and Victor Hugo, the hovels promote alcoholism and prostitution. The sanitary conditions are deplorable and 44,000 cholera victims in 1832. In 1848, 65 % of Parisians do not pay tax and 80 % of the dead go to the grave.

In this climate unhealthy and socially fragile in an era (the 1848 revolution, labor unrest, rising unemployment) that the government of Napoleon III launched a policy of public works headed by Baron Haussmann.

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Paris, daughter of the Seine River PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alexandra Bodji   
Saturday, 25 December 2010 04:31

Bridges of ParisIt is certainly along the Seine River that you will admire the most beautiful view of the capital city. Choose any bridge on the Seine River, and Paris will show itself to you and reveal all its beauties: its lights, its huge sky, its silvery reflections, its architecture, its history and its evolution.

Besides, the impact of the Seine River on Paris was great, starting with the geographical position of the city and the choice of Paris as its capital city on France. Thus, however you fell in love, romantic, nostalgic or melancholic, let yourself stroll along the Seine River... happiness is guaranteed!

Banks and bridges of Paris

The Seine River crosses Paris over 14 km and is 26,4 meters depth on average. Its meanders cut the city in two parts: the left bank which is full of history...

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