Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nature Capitale

After spending most of last week inside for work, I decided that I absolutely had to get out and about this weekend. Part of my plan included taking Sophie up on her invite to check out the Champs Elysée on Sunday. The lovely Sarah of Misplaced Texan also joined us.

Regarding the event, entitled Nature Capitale, I'd heard two story lines - the first being that starting Saturday and running through Monday, they were supposed to be turning the Champs into one big garden in an effort to highlight environmental issues (by covering the street with grass, trees and other flora).

"Supposed to" being the key words.

I should've taken it as a sign when I found out things were running horrible behind. Several friends of mine tried to visit the Champs Saturday and absolutely nothing was in place. By the time we got there Sunday, everything had been installed, minus the most important thing- the GRASS. So much for all of their posters in the metro showing people picnicking - instead, the ground was covered in wood chips and there were guards everywhere making sure no one sat on anything.

The second byline I'd heard said the Champs would be turned into a farm in order to highlight the struggles of being a farmer in France. Sure, there were a few pigs and other random farm animals, but just as it looked nothing like a park, it also looked nothing like a farm. Second FAIL of the day. Add in the hot temps and the hoards of people, and it just wasn't worth it.

The worst part was that the event wasn't even the slightest bit informational. There were a couple of panneaux here and there, but basically it was just a crowd of people walking through boxes of prairie grass. All three of us were left feeling underwhelmingly blasé about the whole event, and we decided to go hang out in the Tuilieries instead (which proved to be a much interesting exercise: studying the behaviors of a "Parisian in his natural habitat").

How about the rest of you? Did anyone else go? If so, what did you think? Was it really the innovative project everyone's been raving about, or did you find it to be as much of a flop as we did?



Blogger Crystal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 24, 2010 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

by "Parisian in his natural habitat" do you mean a guy in sunglasses and a banana hammock lounging on the grass reading something 'intellectual' and trying hard to 'blend in' while checking out every person who walks by?

And are you sure it wasn't Max?

May 24, 2010 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

So glad I didn't go, lol.

May 24, 2010 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Miserable. Too many people, not enough space, and poor traffic flow. There actually was a lot of information between Place de la Concorde and the Rond Point but was simply too crowded!!!

May 24, 2010 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Glimpse Creations said...

I went to check it out today. To sum it up in one word... Horrible. The idea could be good, if it was done properly. I have never seen so many people in one area in all my life!...and looking at what!?? Some trees placed on a roadway!

May 24, 2010 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Ken Broadhurst said...

Crowds in Paris. Imagine!

May 24, 2010 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Alisa said...

I read this earlier today, and it was interesting seeing the contrast between the article and what's really going on!

May 24, 2010 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Evolutionary Revolutionary said...

Despite ya'll commentary The Boy and I went. I was SUPER underwhelmed by the execution, and I found it downright laughable that they had signs about being eco and cutting down trees when all of their boxes of "agriculture" were made of WOOD! And people taking pictures next to trees like they had never seen one before!! SO SILLY. Probably a huge waste of money.

Oh Paris! You tried so hard!!

May 25, 2010 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Zuleme said...

Do you know why it is called the Tuilieries? Came up in French class here and no one knew.
Isn't Tuilier a tiler?

May 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

It's called the Tuileries because they used to make tiles there, a kazillion years ago.

May 25, 2010 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Flop, says I.... See the post on my blog... BORING! You critiqued it MUCH better than I did... I really liked the potager at the Hotel de Ville MUCH MUCH better...

May 27, 2010 at 11:53 PM  

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