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HIGH FASHION, WIDOW’S LANE OR POLKAS?

04 May

I suppose if I am having a particularly masochistic day I could suggest that we wander down Avenue Montaigne.  If I am longing for even greater judgment and condescension from the sales people, I might even wander into one of the fashion stores.  Or if I am wondering if I have any acting skills and could dress the role so that I fit into the melee of the people most comfortable on this street, I could choose to see Avenue Montaigne.

I remember when my husband and I were in Vegas with my daughter and she helped me try to be impressed by some of the higher fashion stores like Louis Vuitton and Prada.  My problem is that no matter how middle class I am now, I was raised in a working class home and neighbourhood.  People were often laid off from their jobs and even when working, often had a running tab at the local store since there wasn’t enough money to cover the month’s expenses.   When I look at a $1,00.00 pair of shoes, I think of the groceries it could buy for a family.  Even when I cross the line and buy something that from my point of view is expensive, I don’t want others to know what I paid.  I have no need to advertise high fashion lines with their logos on my t-shirt. However, I am also a hypocrite since I am going on this great holiday rather than donating those savings to the homeless!

Regardless,  I would have been more drawn as a tourist to walk down Avenue Montaigne when it had been first named “Allee des Veuves” (Widow’s Lane) because ladies in mourning found solace in its leafy shadows.  From personal experience, I understand grief and I would have found my own solace remembering people whom I have lost.

However, in 1723, the street was renamed Avenue Montaigne and illuminated fountains and 30,000 gas jet lamps were installed.  That addition would also have drawn me there to watch people playing Chinese billiards, ring toss games and listen to bands playing polkas and waltzes.

Again, I am too late to watch that kind of energy on a street.  By the turn of the last century, it was transformed into a high fashion street which has since become more important than rue du Faubourg Saint Honore for its high fashion.  Even our Canadian singer Celine has invested in this lucrative street.

And so I thought I would just settle for watching the warm hearted French movie called Avenue Montaigne. It was a wonderful story of  a young  woman from the province who comes to Paris and waits on tables in the midst of this entertainment and high fashion street.  I really enjoyed the movie and I got quite used to reading the English sub-titles.

Ironically, just when I concluded that I had been given enough overview of Avenue Montaigne as I watched this movie, I  learned one fact that may alter my decision.  Guess where the Canadian Embassy is located?!!!  Avenue Montaigne, No. 35.

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Posted by on May 4, 2012 in DVDs, France, Paris, Travel

 

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