ChampsElysees Balls in the Fountain

Constant change in Paris

This article has now been archived and no longer being updated.

ChampsElysees Balls in the FountainThrough the grapevine I hear that Paris is an open-air museum. True in some respects, but it is a living open-air museum for some and the home front for others. Nothing stays the same. Search out scenes from a movie from another decade, and you might be disappointed. However, more recent movies by the dozen have left their prints. Look for that smoke filled room and it has probably been gentrified. The spirit of Paris, however,  remains.

Modernization can mean a return to what was. For example, the Parc Butte Chaumont will be restored to its 1867 landscape between 2013 and 2017. In the case of the Ritz Hotel, what was is faded. The hotel did not earn the label “Palace” so it is closing down the summer of 2012 and upgrading. The city, hotels and transportation are trying to become more accessible to those with limited mobility.

Preparing your vacation, you might want to know what’s what between now and 2020. Some of what is being changed follows.

  • Reopening of the Musée Picasso after renovation and extension (June 2014),
  • Creation of a Théâtre de la Marionnette (Puppet theatre), rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement (2013),
  • brasserie and a luxury suite on the rooftop of the Moulin Rouge
  • Extension and modernization of the Roland-Garros tennis stadium,
  • End of work at Gare Saint Lazare (train station), with 10,000 m2 of shops on three levels (March 2012),
  • Creation of green spaces and pedestrian areas along a 2.3 km stretch on the Left Bank and Right Bank of the Seine (July 2012),
  • Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and restoring of it to its original state of 1867 (2013-2017),
  • TGV train station at Orly airport (2020)
  • Launch of the Louvre online reservation system (beginning 2012),
  • Opening of an Angelina restaurant/tea room in the Hôtel de Sully (beginning 2012), Conversion by Japanese architects Sejima and Nishizawo of the former La Samaritaine department store into a luxury hotel, Le Cheval Blanc, with 80 rooms and suites overlooking the Seine, a conference centre and shops (2011-2014),
  • Closure of The Ritz for full renovation, including the restaurant L’Espadon and the cooking school Ritz- Escoffier (summer 2012-Christmas 2014)
  • heart of the Thoiry zoological garden, with 25 rooms fully accessible to persons with disabilities (end 2013)

This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history a few decades ago with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. In 1990 for American Airlines I began working as a flight attendant, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines after 20 years. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel and I am active in Toastmasters. Enjoy!