Monday, May 02, 2005

La Défense

A bit about the area where Troy works...

La Défense is an extremely modern business park located on the outskirts of Paris, at the edge of one of the wealthiest suburbs of Paris, Neuilley-sur-Seine, and in a bend of the river Seine. Every day 150,000 people work there and 20,000 call it home. There are over 1,500 business in the 400 acre complex, HUGE pieces of public art, 2 carousels, and the largest shopping mall in Continental Europe (but the air-conditioning is terrible & even in winter a coat isn't really necessary).

Some of the benefits of Troy's building are the view looking back toward Paris down the Grand Boulevards, the ultra cool designs in the bathrooms, and the Starbucks on the main floor.

Every morning the rat race begins and Troy joins the throngs of people rushing out of the metro to the office buildings (there is a train every 2 minutes!) and survives the 20 min ride to work. The metro is a beautiful system!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Saturday in the Marais

The Marais is one of the oldest & most interesting areas of Paris. Located in the 4th, it was traditionally the Jewish area of town, and still houses numerous temples for the community. On Friday evenings you see many men, dressed in the traditional Orthodox clothing, walking to temples for services.

This area also houses the Hotel de Ville of Paris (the city hall), the Paris city museum, the Pompidou Center, the Place des Vosges and probably 50 other things to see. More recently it has become quite the area for night life, and one of the few areas good to shop in on Sundays (most of the stores are closed on Sundays in the other neighborhoods).

We spent a sunny Saturday afternoon fighting thru traffic (I would recommend NEVER driving & trying to park there - too many small one way streets & crazy Parisian walkers), but having a great lunch and some fun around the fountains. We then had to go back the following week (on the metro) for a more leisurly stroll down the streets.