Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'Tis the Season, Paris Version

It's a first for me - December in Paris.  And I've been carrying my camera around, looking for Christmas.  I assume this is "part I" because I must, really must, find more.  Thus far, Paris is no competition for New York (not that there's anything wrong with that)!  

Store front windows might be decorated more brightly than usual, with packaging more on display and highlighting gift items, maybe a sparkle here or there as well -
- but, otherwise, not so much.  Some shopping streets have lights strung overhead.
The Pantheon has a cluster of Christmas trees in front.
The métro features a few (and by that, I mean a minority) of posters featuring or promoting Christmas.
Of course, those métro posters are both ads for department stores.  And speaking of which, since Bon Marché is just down the block and is such a lovely store, I wondered what I'd find there, figuring perhaps a Bergdorf's kind of glitz and glamour.
(The building's exterior lighting changes in the darkness of a winter evening.)
Nope, these windows are a bit interesting, but definitely understated, and no lines of children, tourists or anyone else for that matter were crowding either the store windows or the aisles of the store itself.  
In fact, the holiday store windows are, to this American consumer's eye, a bit odd.  As you can perhaps see, in front of each window has been placed a protective shell that extends outward onto the sidewalk.
One walks into this covering to view and hear a little sound/light show (and to be protected from the rain - now there's a reason!).  It's in French, of course, and features not particularly Christmas-y music, more like rock-and-roll, the beat of which pulsates with the lights from the store windows.  I hate to be a nay-sayer, but I wasn't compelled to spend money on gifts or to go inside the store.  Too bad, I believe, because I understand that in 1909, the first moving-figure window for Christmas shoppers was in fact in the window of Le Bon Marche.  That I'd like to see!

I'll have to get over to Printemps and Galeries Lafayette and report back further in part 2 of this minimalist review.

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