Walking down Les Champs Elysées, Paris

Posted on
Jul 17, 2013

I thought that I would really, really like Les Champs Elysées.

I mean, it’s a street chock-full of shops, and it has a song written about it, which is all about falling in love and making out as you stroll down the avenue.

If life has taught me anything, it’s this: if something has its own theme song, it’s going to be awesome (for those needing more proof, please see Kit Kat bars and Sunday Night Football).

And so, after we visited the Arc de Triomphe, Rand and I decided to head to Paris’ most famous street. We walked back down into the tunnel, under the ring of traffic …

Orpheus kept turning around to make sure I was following him. It’s a miracle I haven’t been turned into a pillar of salt.

… and on to Les Champs Elysées.

It was … nice. I can’t argue that point. The trees were meticulously manicured, the sidewalks were impeccably clean.

The shops had lovely facades and elaborate window displays, but nearly every one that we passed was part of a chain. Hell, there was even an Abercrombie.

Upon seeing this, some small part of me died.

And the crowds were claustrophobia inducing. There were people everywhere.

These poor souls simply wanted macarons. And they had to wait for them. IN LINE. LIKE IT WAS THE COLD WAR OR SOMETHING.

Four minutes later, half of these people died from macaron-deficiency.

I’d expected something a little different – I’m not really sure what. Just something a little less touristy and less commercial. A tree-lined street like the one that we presently were walking down, but in my dreams, it was filled with independent boutiques that catered to pear-shaped girls. And pastry shops that handed out free samples. And a few dozen organ grinders with little dancing monkeys. And jugglers.

Oh, and overhead, there would be a few hot air balloons floating. And around every corner, you’d bump into couples passionately making out.

Something like that.

But the real Champs Elysées didn’t really have any of those things. It was just street full of shops. And just about when I’d given up on finding any magic in this part of Paris, Rand began to sing.

“Aux Champs Elysées …. Aux Champs Elysées …”

What was I to do? I’m not made of wood, people.

Paris’ famed street might not have had organ grinders or little dancing monkeys. Tragically, there wasn’t a single free sample of French pastries.

But there was at least one couple, passionately making out. In that respect, the Champs Elysées didn’t disappoint.

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