Through fashionable Paris in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn

    04 Feb 2015
    Clock 15min      Length2mi
    3 ratings

    U.S. Embassy

    Pay wave

    As you walk along the Avenue Gabriel, you will pass the Pavilion Gabriel and the Espace Pierre Cardin on your right. Both buildings are special-event venues used for receptions, conventions, and fashion shows, particularly during Paris Fashion Week in spring and fall.

    Up ahead, on the left, is the American Embassy. The modern building facing Avenue Gabriel is the Chancery. The main building, which is much older, faces the Place de la Concorde.

    At the end of the movie "Charade," when the villains have been dealt with and the money recovered, Reggie returns to the Embassy. But this time, it is Cary Grant in the office, not Walter Matthau, who turned out to be one of the bad guys. Cary Grant is the real embassy official, and his job is recovering stolen property.

    Once again in this movie, Audrey was paired with a much older man. Cary Grant was a good twenty-five years older than she was. But this time, the chemistry actually works. Humphrey Bogart was in poor health during the filming of "Sabrina," and William Holden was battling alcoholism during the filming of "Paris When It Sizzles." Gary Cooper as an aging playboy in "Love in the Afternoon" was simply unconvincing as a love interest. But Cary Grant was, well, Cary Grant, and somehow the age gap seems less important. The script even plays with the difference in their ages, and acknowledges the gap.

    You will soon arrive at the northwest corner of the Place de la Concorde. This is the largest square in Paris and a historic spot between the Champs Elysées and the Tuileries Gardens. It has witnessed everything from the death of Louis XVI by guillotine during the French Revolution, to the celebrations following the liberation of Paris in 1944.

    The square was created in the middle of the 18th century by an architect named Gabriel, which is how the Avenue Gabriel got its name. At one time it had a moat surrounding it. The large statues of female figures represent major French cities, and the obelisk in the middle was a gift from Egypt in the 19th century. The fountains were added after the obelisk was installed.

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