Paris Celebrates 2,000th Birthday

Paris Celebrates 2,000th Birthday

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On July 8, 1951, Paris, the capital city of France, celebrates turning 2,000 years old. In fact, a few more candles would’ve technically been required on the birthday cake, as the City of Lights was most likely founded around 250 B.C.

The history of Paris can be traced back to a Gallic tribe known as the Parisii, who sometime around 250 B.C. settled an island (known today as Ile de la Cite) in the Seine River, which runs through present-day Paris. By 52 B.C., Julius Caesar and the Romans had taken over the area, which eventually became Christianized and known as Lutetia, Latin for “midwater dwelling.” The settlement later spread to both the left and right banks of the Seine and the name Lutetia was replaced with “Paris.” In 987 A.D., Paris became the capital of France. As the city grew, the Left Bank earned a reputation as the intellectual district while the Right Bank became known for business.

During the French Renaissance period, from the late 15th century to the early 17th century, Paris became a center of art, architecture and science. In the mid-1800s, Napoleon III hired civic planner Georges-Eugene Hausmann to modernize Paris. Hausmann’s designs gave the city wide, tree-lined boulevards, large public parks, a new sewer system and other public works projects. The city continued to develop as an important hub for the arts and culture. In the 1860s, an artistic movement known as French Impression emerged, featuring the work of a group of Paris-based artists that included Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Today, Paris is home to some 2 million residents, with an additional 10 million people living in the surrounding metropolitan area. The city retains its reputation as a center for food, fashion, commerce and culture. Paris also continues to be one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, renowned for such sights as the Eiffel Tower (built in 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution), the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame Cathedral (built in 1163), Luxembourg Gardens and the Louvre Museum, home to Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Mona Lisa.”

READ MORE: French Revolution

2,500-year celebration of the Persian Empire

The 2,500-year celebration of the Persian Empire, officially known as the 2,500th Year of the Foundation of the Imperial State of Iran, consisted of an elaborate set of festivities that took place on 12–16 October 1971 to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the erstwhile Imperial State of Iran and the ancient Achaemenid Empire by Cyrus the Great. [1] [2] The intent of the celebration was to demonstrate Iran's ancient civilization and history and to showcase its contemporary advances under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. [3]

Some later historians came to think that this excessive celebration contributed to events that resulted in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and subsequent replacement of the Persian monarchy with an Islamic republic under the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution who garnered support from the Iranian people, various leftist and Islamist organizations [4] and student movements to overthrow the Shah and establish the present-day Islamic Republic of Iran. The event has been described as the most expensive party ever held in modern history. [5]

10 things to do on your birthday in Paris

If it’s your birthday, then Paris is the perfect place to spend it in style. This isn’t the economy version, after all, you only get one birthday a year, I’ve kept it mid-range price-wise but special. Fabulous places to visit, eat, drink and dance – with some free Champagne thrown in…

Things to do on your birthday in Paris that you’ll love…

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Well not quite at Tiffanys’ but there is a lovely café in the Champs-Elysées where Tiffany’s have a store! Equally luxurious, head to Ladurée at no. 75 on the world’s greatest avenue for a great coffee to start the day (opens at 07.30). The flamboyantly decorated café is magnificent.

Other great coffee shops in Paris include Odette in the Latin Quarter and the famous Café de Flore which is opposite the equally famous Café des Deux Magots.

Shop for a gift

While you’re in the Champs-Elysées you might want to do a spot of shopping, after all this is shopping paradise in Paris. It’s where you’ll find the newly opened Galeries-Lafayette. With 600 brands and 300 designers spread over four levels, you can’t help but be impressed by this new temple of shopping dedicated to fashion, beauty and gastronomy. All the great names in luxury shopping plus boutique designers are here.

If you fancy something less… well fancy, maybe the flea markets at Saint-Ouen will be more your style. Vintage clothes, antiques, old books, second-hand jewellery, furniture, art deco and knickknacks galore at one of the biggest flea markets in the world. Metro: Métro stations: Porte de Clignancourt (line 4) or Garibaldi (line 13)

Parisian birthday lunch

It depends on what you like to do – a picnic in the Jardins de Luxembourg, a sandwich sitting alongside the River Seine, a café that’s really local. Or splashing out on a delicious lunch somewhere luxurious – in which case, maybe you’ll like the Lobby restaurant. In the former ballroom of a grand Haussmanian palace, now the 5* Peninsula Hotel, close to the Arc de Triomphe, this place is a real find. It’s not cheap (expect to pay around 40 euros for a main dish) but it is gorgeous, pure belle epoque, like dining in Versailles.

Pop into a museum

You’re spoiled for choice in Paris, there are more than 150 museums in the city. There’s the Louvre, the world’s most popular – and biggest – museum for starters. The Picasso Museum, Museum of Romantic Life, Museum of History of Medicine (yes really) … it’s up to you what sort of museum you like the sound of , but when of the best is the Musée d’Orsay with its wonderful collection of furniture and impressionist paintings and much else. It’s in a converted railway station close to the Louvre and is usually far less crowded.

There’s also the Opera Garnier, not a museum but it makes for a fascinating visit and tour (read about it in our free magazine).

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea, always considered a very British thing to do, has become incredibly popular in Paris and many hotels offer a fabulous tea/coffee and pastries experience. You can also get a cake and coffee in more unusual places such as the Shakespeare & Co. book shop – an institution in the city and well worth a visit in its own right. Angelina’s Tea Room, rue de Rivoli is also perfect for hot chocolate in the afternoon.

Boat ride with free Champagne

If you’re in Paris on your birthday, head for the Vedettes de Paris who run sightseeing boat trips on the Seine. Take your passport or ID as proof of your big day and they’ll offer you a free sightseeing ride and a glass of Champagne or a pancake and soft drink. Website:

Aperitif O’clock

Head to the top of the Eiffel Tower for the Champagne Bar. As you sip the bubbles the view over the city before you is truly uplifting. Plus you get to take the lift straight up to the bar on the top floor and avoid the queues for tickets. Best time to go is at night when the tower puts on an hourly twinkle show, the lights sparkle for 5 minutes on the hour from dusk to 1 a.m. (2 a.m. in Summer). Or how about the bar at the Ritz, a former favourite of Ernest Hemingway. Or the belle epoque style bar at the Shangri-La Hotel on the corner of Place Iéna, in the former private mansion of Prince Roland Bonaparte, now listed “Monument Historique”.

Dinner at a fabulous restaurant

Where to start? It all depends on you – luxurious, historic, romantic… One that fits all these descriptions is the Les Ombres. It’s located at the top of the Musée du Quai Branly and it has the most magnificent view over the Eiffel Tower. It’s not cheap, but that view is priceless. lesombres-restaurant

Dance the night away

Don’t want the night to end? Why not go to one of the many clubs in Paris. Maybe you prefer to watch the dancers – in that case, the famous cabaret clubs beckon. If you want to let your hair down, Rosa Bonheur, a boat on the Seine moored by the Pont Alexandre III has a fun and festive atmosphere. In the summer there are open air tango dances at the mini amphitheatres along the Seine in the 5th arrondissement.

Stay in a fabulous hotel

End your birthday with a stay in a fabulous hotel in Paris. If you’re a millionaire, you’ll love the Ritz’s Coco Chanel suite, but you’ll need to spend around €30,000 for a night of elegant refinement and luxury (though it does include a greeter at the door of your plane, fast track through immigration and limousine return). However, you can still find luxury elegance at a much, much lower price. From the Louis Vuitton ultra-luxurious Hotel du Rond Point des Champs-Elysées to the chic Hotel Balmoral near the Arc de Triomphe -our where to stay in Paris review in our free digital magazine will help.

French Birthday Traditions

Birthday traditions in France are for the most parts very familiar to the ones you may be used to.

1. Birthday celebrations in France

Birthday parties in France usually include some form of sweet treat. However, French birthday cakes are often very different from the over-the-top, frosted confections that are common in North America.

Unless they are celebrating a milestone birthday, the French mostly stick with a simple cake which is usually homemade.

Although colorful frosting is starting to make an appearance in some urban areas, the French tend to decorate their cakes with fruits (fresh or candied), flowers, nuts, whipped cream, and confectioner’s sugar. Common birthday cakes include:

Some French families use a fruit tart (tarte aux fruits) instead of a cake. Although ordering cake from a pȃtisserie is not unheard off, it is usually reserved for special celebrations, like a milestone birthday.

Like in most Western countries, the cake is usually brought up at the height of the birthday celebrations while the guests sing “Joyeux anniversaire” and the birthday boy or girl blows the candles after making a wish.

2. What to bring for a present?

Although you are expected to bring a present at birthday parties, it does not have to break the bank, especially if you don’t know the birthday celebrant very well. Birthday cards are always welcome.

For children, pick an age-appropriate toy or book.

For adults, if you are not familiar with the birthday boy or girl’s tastes, there are some safe bets that will make your French friend very happy while avoiding the embarrassment of a faux-pas:

3. Birthday parties for children

Birthday parties for children are usually celebrated on a Wednesday afternoon (French children usually only go to school on Wednesday mornings if they go to school on Wednesdays at all) or Saturday afternoon.

Sundays are often reserved for family activities and birthday parties are seldom held on that day.

Children’s birthdays usually take place around afternoon snack time (le goûter), between 3 pm and 5 pm. Older children like pre-teens and teens sometimes organize a dance party at a later time on a Saturday evening.

Although adults are sometimes served a whole meal, birthday parties for children usually involve a lighter fare, with the cake being the highlight of the party.

Parties are usually more straightforward affairs than the ones that can be found in the United States. Décor is typically limited to a few balloons and cardboard decorations.

People don't always hire outside entertainment like a magician or a princess, but games are sometimes organized to keep the children busy. If your child is expected to dress up, the invitation will say so.

Parents are not expected to stay except for very young children, so assume that you will be dropping your children off and picking them up at the end of the party. It's always a good idea to leave your phone number to the host in case there are any issues.

Most birthday parties take place at home instead of hired venues.

Have you ever attended a birthday party in France? Was there anything that surprised you? Let us know in the comments!

For more insights into French culture, subscribe to the weekly Talk in French newsletter by signing up below!

The official birthday of the United States Marine Corps is on 10 November 1775. That was the day when the Second Continental Congress established the Continental Marines with the following decree: [1]

That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors and other officers, as usual in other regiments that they consist of an equal number of privates as with other battalions, that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to offices, or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve for and during the present war with Great Britain and the Colonies unless dismissed by Congress that they be distinguished by the names of the First and Second Battalions of Marines.

Tun Tavern, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is regarded as the birthplace of the Corps as the location of the first Marines to enlist under Commandant Samuel Nicholas, [2] [3] [4] though it is disputed if a recruiting drive may have occurred earlier at Nicholas's family tavern, the Conestoga Waggon [sic]. [5] When the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the Continental Navy was disestablished, and with it, the Continental Marines. The Corps was re-established on 11 July 1798, when the act for establishing and organizing a Marine Corps was signed by President John Adams. [6]

Prior to 1921, Marines celebrated the recreation of the Corps on 11 July with little pomp or pageantry. [7] On 21 October 1921, Major Edwin North McClellan, in charge of the Corps's fledgling historical section, sent a memorandum to Commandant John A. Lejeune, suggesting the Marines' original birthday of 10 November be declared a Marine Corps holiday to be celebrated throughout the Corps. Lejeune so ordered in Marine Corps Order 47: [8] [9]

  1. On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.
  2. The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.
  3. In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.
  4. This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.

The first formal ball was celebrated in 1925, though no records exist that indicate the proceedings of that event. [10] [11] Birthday celebrations would take varied forms, most included dances, though some accounts include mock battles, musical performances, pageants, and sporting events. [12]

The celebrations were formalized and standardized by Commandant Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. in 1952, outlining the cake cutting ceremony, which would enter the Marine Drill Manual in 1956. By tradition, the first slice of cake is given to the oldest Marine present, who in turn hands it off to the youngest Marine present, symbolizing the old and experienced Marines passing their knowledge to the new generation of Marines. The celebration also includes a reading of Marine Corps Order 47, republished every year, as well as a message from the current Commandant, and often includes a banquet and dancing if possible. In many cases, the birthday celebration will also include a pageant of current and historical Marine Corps uniforms, as a reminder of the history of the Corps. [13] Another modern tradition includes a unit run on the 10th. [14] Marines are reputed to celebrate the birthday, regardless of where they may be in the world, even in austere environments or combat. [15]

In a more somber tradition, Samuel Nicholas's grave in the Arch Street Friends Meeting graveyard in Philadelphia is marked with a wreath at dawn by a group of Marines annually on 10 November to celebrate his role in the founding of the Corps. [16]

Bastille Day

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Bastille Day, in France and its overseas départements and territories, holiday marking the anniversary of the fall on July 14, 1789, of the Bastille, in Paris. Originally built as a medieval fortress, the Bastille eventually came to be used as a state prison. Political prisoners were often held there, as were citizens detained by the authorities for trial. Some prisoners were held on the direct order of the king, from which there was no appeal. Although by the late 18th century it was little used and was scheduled to be demolished, the Bastille had come to symbolize the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy. During the unrest of 1789, on July 14 a mob approached the Bastille to demand the arms and ammunition stored there, and, when the forces guarding the structure resisted, the attackers captured the prison and released the seven prisoners held there. The taking of the Bastille signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, and it thus became a symbol of the end of the ancien régime. Bastille Day is celebrated on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

July 14, often called la fête nationale in France, became an official holiday in 1880. From the beginning, speeches, military parades, and fireworks, along with public revelry, were part of the celebration. The slogan “Vive le 14 juillet!” (“Long live the 14th of July!”) has continued to be associated with the day. The holiday came to be celebrated in the former French colonies and is observed in those places maintaining links to France. French Polynesia especially came to be known for its adaptation of the holiday to its own culture, with singing, dancing, and drumming performances and competitions held throughout the month of July. In addition, Francophiles worldwide have taken up the observance of Bastille Day, celebrating with dinners of French cuisine, for example, or with concerts of French music.

A birthday during a pandemic is a bummer. But two birthdays? Ugh.

New Yorkers enjoying the gorgeous day kept stopping the crew to request a photo and the answer to the natural question: What the heck is that? Komm explained it was a seven-pound piñata that they were taking to the park to destroy with a wooden stick.

The group of 10 tied it to a tree branch, and each took a swing or two. One swung underhand, imagining smacking the virus “in its balls.” The death blow went to the respiratory therapist in the group because, Komm said, “if anyone deserves to smash this thing to smithereens, it’s him.”

He put quite the hole in it, candy and hand sanitizer flying everywhere. But the bottom still clung on. Like the actual virus these days, it found itself on its last protein spikes. So Komm took one more big swing to finish it off.

“Everyone was like, ‘This is the most fun we’ve had in a year,’ ” she said.

The cause for occasion: celebrating her second pandemic birthday.

Remember those birthdays last March, when covid-19 still felt new? Zoom was still a novelty. Friends drove by and honked their horns. They were decent enough substitutes. Maybe even charming ones.

Some didn’t get to have celebrations at all. Plans were ruined, trips canceled. Even still, it all had the feeling of a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing — a story to tell.

But now these unfortunate Pisces and Aries have to do it all again. Some still feel too burned by last year’s disappointment to muster any effort, while others have decided on some sort of safe celebration, pandemic be damned. There’s no right answer here. Maybe you can turn these lemons into lemon cake. But for some, it’ll still taste sour.

D.C.’s Sarah Rutherford, who just turned 31, is one of the few whose celebration improved with her second coronavirus birthday, which she spent hiking in Big Bend National Park in West Texas after two months as a “digital nomad” in Austin. A far cry from her first, when her co-workers were packing up the office and couldn’t buy her a pie from her favorite local shop — so they handed her a photograph of one instead.

Nikki Miller-Ka takes her birthday seriously: It’s “the only day that is yours, that belongs to you.” She usually likes to celebrate with a “grand affair” involving great numbers of friends and family members at a Greensboro, N.C., restaurant. One year, she took herself to Paris. And she always does some volunteer work.

Last year, though, she couldn’t do any of that. Instead, she picked up crab legs from the grocery store, made a cake and shared both at home with her boyfriend. Some friends stopped by to drop off gifts while keeping their distance. “Not that it wasn’t special,” she said. “But, it really was kind of lackluster.”

This April, she’ll turn 40, and she doesn’t want to give the pandemic another victory. She’s considering an all-day Zoom, in which friends can drop by whenever they would like throughout the day to share a digital drink or two. She’ll invite guests to donate to their favorite local charity in an increment of four.

Then there’s Komm and her piñata. The cathartic Central Park festivities were a far cry from her 38th, which she calls “the birthday that was lost to history.” She returned to New York City from a trip minutes into her birthday, a little after midnight March 13, 2020. The dinner she had planned with her friends was quickly replaced with trips to five stores to stock up for shutdown.

“It was really the worst pandemic birthday, because it wasn’t really a birthday,” she said. It was the day the United States declared a national emergency, when everything shut down. “It wasn’t before it happened, when people could still celebrate, and it wasn’t after, when people could commiserate.”

The second one had to be special. So, she made a coronavirus piñata. She had considered filling it with a smaller coronavirus piñata. But her apartment already housed a coronavirus disco ball she made earlier in the year. “I was just like, ‘How many coronaviruses does one girl need?’ ” Her friends were grateful for the decision.

For some, the occasion of a second pandemic birthday can conjure wistful memories of a first. Nicole Shanique had what promised to be a life-altering 35th birthday. She was headed from her home in New York to London on her first solo trip, and she was beyond excited.

Her flight would have been March 13.

“I was very, very sad on the day of. I was ready to push myself out of my comfort zone,” Shanique said. The idea of traveling to a foreign country by herself as a woman originally gave her pause, but she planned to push through her fear. She never got the chance.

So, this year, the idea of planning anything just feels exhausting — she doesn’t want her hopes dashed again. Instead, she’s going to wait until things normalize and finally take her trip. If nothing else, she’s grateful nothing like this ruined her childhood birthdays.

“We’re adults. We can say, ‘Ok, fine. This happened. We’ll do something else,’ ” Shanique said. “But if you’re a kid and this happens to you, I can’t even imagine.”

Parker Boynton can. Her first pandemic birthday in April originally promised to be a true barnburner, by a 4-year-old’s standards. She’d been talking about it nonstop for months, said her mom, Kelly Boynton. It was going to be her first big birthday party.

Instead, Kelly was forced to improvise. She used the video service VidDay to compile birthday messages from Parker’s preschool teachers, classmates and extended family.

“We sat her down on her birthday and played it for her,” Kelly said. “She replayed it another five times.”

“She spent the next year talking about ‘When covid is over, I’m going to have a party,’ ” Kelly added. They live in California, where cases remain high. Maybe they’ll have a small outside gathering of Parker’s preschool friends. Maybe she’ll see her grandparents, who are vaccinated. “I just don’t know yet what to do.”

Some families have seen multiple pandemic birthdays. Jade Brooks-Bartlett turned 26 a few weeks after shutdown began, trading a night out for a couple of glasses of wine in her parents’ neighbor’s yard. Even more dispiriting to the self-described workaholic who freelances in theater was that work was drying up as venues shut down.

“I was in a state of work withdrawal,” Brooks-Bartlett, who lives in Silver Spring, Md., said. “I was not doing well emotionally at all.”

Perhaps the best part of her looming 27th is that she might get to spend it working, since many theaters have transitioned to staging shows on Zoom.

When lockdown began, her mother, Heather Brooks, in nearby Laurel, was just about to celebrate her 50th with a 1970s-themed party replete with a vintage breakfast cereal bar, the drawing game Spirograph and candy cigarettes. She had a rainbow-striped sequined jumpsuit picked out. Instead, she opened gifts on Facebook Live.

This year will be another quiet one — just her, her husband and her mother-in-law. She joked she’s “holding on to 49 until we can have a party.”

Brooks now sees birthdays in a slightly different light. Sure, the pared-down events feel unsatisfactory. But the ability to have one offers ample cause for gratitude. Having a second pandemic birthday is actually a blessing. After all, more than 500,000 can’t, her father-in-law among them.

“It is an accomplishment to make it another year,” she said. “I don’t care if you’re turning 25 or turning 75. The pandemic makes you understand how fragile and precious life is, to a degree we didn’t have to look at before. So, I think I will give my birthdays a little more honor than I used to.”

5 ways to make your birthday in Paris unique!

There are hundreds of great ways to enjoy your birthday in the French capital. Indeed, the diverse and beautiful city of lights has an activity to suit anyone, from lovers to the outdoors as well as bon vivants! If you are travelling to Paris for your birthday, try one of the ideas listed below for a French birthday you will never forget!

A very chic birthday

For a Parisian chic birthday dinner, you should go to the one Michelin star, 114 Faubourg restaurant. The flavours are plentiful, service outstanding, and décor incredibly elegant.This is certainly the kind of upscale-casual dining affair you could have in mind for your birthday in Paris!

For a birthday dinner with a view, you should head to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower where you will find Le Jules Vernes. This iconic restaurant not only boasts some of the best views of Paris, but also serves delicious French dishes with a slight contemporary touch.

If you are looking for a culinary experience unique to Paris, L’Astrance is the place for your birthday dinner! Look beyond the complicated descriptions on the menu – what you should expect are teasers of taste that you never even knew existed, and a presentation that is an art unto itself. L’Astrance is a restaurant with a difference and will leave you with an experience you will never forget.

A crazy birthday

If your ideal birthday night means cocktails in a fancy Parisian bar filled with beautiful people and delicious cosmopolitans, you’ll be on cloud nine in the Alcazar bar in the famous area of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. You must try the Royal Pink Circus (vodka, champagne, raspberries, and violet syrup)!

For a Burlesque night, you should go to one of these two world-famous venues: Montmartre’s Moulin Rouge and The Crazy Horse in the chic 8th arrondissement. You can catch all the original acts of dancing, comedy and magic during a birthday bash in Paris.

A cliché birthday

You can also celebrate your birthday on a moonlight yacht cruising up and down the Seine through the City of Lights. Les Yachts de Paris proposes a luxurious atmosphere on its floating restaurant. Experience a spectacular Paris sunset as you wine and dine during this gourmet cruise. You can also hire a boat for an intimate 2 to 10 person cruise. A bit cliché, but this will be without any doubt a birthday to remember.

A romantic birthday

For those looking for something poetic, Sur un Arbre Perché in the Montorgeuil district is the ideal restaurant for a romantic birthday. The uniqueness of this place is that you can dine sitting on a swinging chair perched in the air. This a very romantic way to enjoy the delicious food prepared by an unconventional chef in a fantastic setting. Birthday is in the air!

One last drink? Le Carmen is one of the most unusual and romantic bars right now in Paris. Located in South Pigalle, the latest trendsetting neighbourhood in the City of Lights, it is the perfect place for a birthday evening. Once you cross the doors of this beautiful 19th century mansion, you will be seduced: beautiful wooden beams, frescoes, renaissance chairs, delicious cocktails combined with a glamorous and cozy atmosphere of the 30s.

A French birthday

You should go to one of the best fromageries in France, Marie-Anne Cantin or Barthélemy in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Then not far from these shops you can buy the best French baguette at Secco. Take everything with a good bottle of wine to the Canal Saint Martin or to the Champs de Mars and enjoy a gourmet picnic.

You could also spend your birthday in L’écume Saint Honoré. This is a not so typical fish shop that has been revamped into an oyster bar. It’s all very romantic and so French! A petit menu of fresh, mostly raw fish boasts some of the best oysters in Europe and a delicious home-made mayonnaise. The house offers a bottle of Champagne if you book for 12 friends minimum.

Irina Raileanu is the owner and Director at Avenue Story.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

The Eiffel Tower’s Illuminations

Every evening, the Eiffel Tower is adorned with its golden covering and sparkles for 5 minutes every hour on the hour, while its beacon shines over Paris.

Unveiled on the 31st December 1985, invented by Pierre Bideau, an electrician and lighting engineer, it consists of 336 projectors equipped with high-pressure, yellow-orange sodium lamps.

This form of illumination, which has been met with unanimous, worldwide success, was the starting point of a nocturnal revival of monuments, in Paris as well as in the cities of France and the world.

The beams of light, directed from the bottom towards the top, illuminate the Eiffel Tower from the inside of its structure. Since 1958, by replacing the 1,290 working projectors that illuminated the Tower from the outside, they have been highlighting the fine metallic structure of the monument and illuminating the areas used by late-night visitors until the closing of the Tower to the public. In addition to the aesthetic aspect, it is equally necessary for the security of the late-night operation of the Tower.

The projectors are turned on in under 10 minutes. This is activated upon nightfall by the sensors.

In 2004, they were replaced by projectors with an electrical power of 600 watts as opposed to the previous 1KW, i.e. an energy consumption saving of around 40%. Their improved output of light preserves all the beauty of the overall appearance.

Since that time and every four years, a team of SETE technicians has replaced the 336 projector bulbs that wrap the Eiffel Tower in golden light every evening. The last operation took place in spring 2019.

Contrary to popular beliefs, the Tower’s nightly illumination, it’s golden glow, only represents about 4% of the monument’s annual energy expenses.

In December 2019, the four 2000W projectors that had illuminated the antenna since 1985 were replaced by LED versions that are 10 times less powerful and consume 10 times less energy.

In 2020, the 28 projectors that illuminate the steps in the outstretched portions of the four pillars will be replaced to reduce the installed power by 80%.

On 31 December 1999 at the approach of midnight, the entire world will discover the beacon and the Tower's sparking lights.

The beacon, sending out two light beams with a reach of 80 kilometres, is composed of 4 "marine" motorised projectors. They are operated by automatically piloted computer programs. Since their rotation sweep is 90°, they are synchronized to form a double beam in a cross that pivots around 360°.

The xenon 6000 watt lamps were chosen for their longevity, around 1,200 hours. The lamps are cooled to prevent overheating and a heating system is activated when the temperatures drop below zero Centigrade whilst the lights are off.

This beacon resonates the image of Gustave Eiffel's Tower itself as a universal and symbolic landmark.

The sparkling lights are superimposed over the golden lighting, they bring the monument to life for 5 minutes every hour on the hour once the Tower has been lit up until 1 am.

To finalize the show, the gold lights were shut down and only the sparkling lights performed, five minutes of magic never seen before, breathtaking.

Paris's Colette boutique celebrates its 10th birthday

PARIS — She's 10 years old, addicted to MySpace, where she posts pictures of her fat pink birthday cakes and creates tongue-in-cheek competitors for "Miss MySpace." There are Kate Moss and "Cake Moss." And a four-legged friend called Oscar, who listens to Snoop Dogg and can't decide whether today's canine collar should be by Chanel, Chrome Hearts, Goyard or Hermès.

Fans of Colette will recognize her immediately as the coolest store in town. Her home is Paris, where the hip shop opened 10 years ago on the Rue St.-Honoré and celebrated its first decade last week. Naturally, Miss Cool Colette (who holds dance classes on Mondays and creates music compilations), put on a sumptuous fête, followed by hot party at La Scala club.

Behind Colette are Sarah Lerfel and her mother, Colette Roussaux, for whom the store is named. The policy is simple: Always be new, fresh, surprising - and streets ahead of the rest.

"I never have time to think and reflect - it is always about advancing, moving ahead," says Sarah, as she is known. "Thanks to the designers and the choice we make, it has become an address to visit. But it is hard to analyze."

The two words that sum up the three-level store - and especially the main floor with its gadgets, gismos, metallic jewelry and techno accessories - are "eclectic" and "selective." The choice is precise and distinctive and you can tell that the objects have been chosen with a rush of blood to the heart.

Even if the fashion floor upstairs has famous brands, like Lanvin or Prada, rather than just edgy unknowns like Broken Label, with its disturbing childlike prints, the way that the famous collections are bought makes them seem different.

Right now, everything is more or less black, white and neutral, except for the four-leaf-clover stools on the back terrace, which are bright green and look like furniture for trolls.

It is hard to find anyone in the fashion world with a bad word to say about Colette. Editors of hip magazines, supporting Sarah at the birthday dinner, all said that she was the first to put them on the store's stand, thus giving an imprimatur to fledgling publications. The YSL designer Stefano Pilati said that she had put an entire area of Paris on the fashion map. And although no one from Eastern Europe was on hand to thank Colette for the current promotion, shoppers are smiling at punning posters that declare: "I'm your man, Azerbaijan "What's the Plan, Uzbekistan" and "Men are from Minsk, women are from Vilnius."

Colette thrives on the unexpected, the cute, the funky or just plain silly. Its improvisation and iconoclastic ideas are set against the modernist architecture of the metal structured staircase or the streamlined water-bar restaurant downstairs. Exhibitions of art or photography are displayed with a studied impermanence.

"Like everything we do, it is done very, very quickly," says Sarah of decisions to create a space for iPod music listening, a display of jeans and sportswear, a collaboration with Nike or the idea of importing from America the street smart Proenza Schouler range for Target.

The latest phenomenon is the environmentally friendly cotton "I'm not a plastic bag" by the British designer Anya Hindmarch that has become a hot item.

Isn't there a danger that a store that has become a byword for cool might become a pastiche in its intention to seek out the original and interesting? Anyone following Colette's windows, devoted to a movie here, a designer there, or just unexpected objects and subjects, knows that its ideas remain fresh.

Sarah says she owes it to her team and they say that her instinct is the key. She believes that the meld cannot be replicated, and there are no intentions to expand the Colette franchise by replicating the store.

So what is the future? More "Rock and Mode" music? New and unexpected collaborations? More links with the cyberworld now that Sarah, who describes herself as techno savvy but not a cyber addict, is fascinated by the pop culture growing out of MySpace?

"The future is very difficult to define - everything is possible," says Sarah. "But we don't make plans. We are living in the present, present, present!"

Birthday Rules

12. In Germany, Greece and some other countries, it’s considered bad luck to wish someone a happy birthday before the exact day, or to celebrate your birthday early.

13. Unlike in the United States, it’s the birthday boy or girl who pays for events and buys drinks for their friends in Italy, Germany and other European countries.

14. Along the same lines, the birthday celebrant will bake the cake for friends and colleagues in Germany, rather than the other way around.

15. In Italy, you’re expected to open your birthday present right away in front of the person who gave it to you. It’s rude to just put the wrapped package to the side. Hope you like it!

16. In Vietnam , people usually don’t celebrate their individual birthdays. Instead, everyone celebrates together on Tet , which is the day that celebrates Vietnamese New Year and everyone turns a year older.

Watch the video: Paris 2000th Birthday 1951 (February 2023).

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