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  • Lisa

The Most Famous Avenue in the World

Improbable Walks, Season 3, Episode 5: Usually we focus on lesser-known streets, but today, we're walking along LES CHAMPS ELYSEES. From an inclusive coffeeshop to the Guerlain perfume legacy... and most particularly, my favourite steampunk historical fact: in the early 1900s, inventor Alberto Santos-Dumont used to park his dirigible (yes, a flying machine) outside his apartment on the Champs.

Here are my photos of the Arc de Triomphe, last September during the Christo art wrap--which was really wonderful--and more recently this spring. And an archival photo of the historic walk down the Champs by Winston Churchill & General Charles de Gaulle, on November 11, 1944.

Next, here is one of the marvellous dirigibles invented & piloted by Alberto Santos-Dumont. There is a Vanity Fair cartoon (c 1901) & a photo of the great Brazilian inventor c. 1901, plus a photo of the inventor WITH A DIRIGIBLE parked outside his Elysian Fields' apartment (taken sometime between 1903-1908). And I took a photo of the plaque you can see today, on his old building.

Finally, here's an archival photo of the Guerlain boutique (interior); the Patisserie Gloppe, painted by Jean Béraud, 1889, to show you an old Champs tearoom; and a Champs traffic cop in about 1960. Enjoy promenading!

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