Xmas lights, Champs-Elysées

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All week the weather here has been glorious – cold, dry and sunny. And all week the air pollution has been so critical that public transportation was free … as well as free resident car parking. On Wednesday I went home for lunch to fetch my camera. I stopped off at my local boulangerie to buy a baguette and this delicious pastry, called a religieuse, for my dessert. After work I jumped on the free metro and zipped down to the Champs-Elysées to see the Christmas lights. Here are some random shots.

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Night photography isn’t easy. It entails long exposures, a tripod, and lots of fiddling with your settings (aperture and shutter speed), which I can’t be bothered to do. So, again, I apologize for the less-than-sharp images. Here, I’m basically strolling down the “Champs” at 7 pm tonight and enjoying the cold, clear weather.

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WATCH OUT FOR PICKPOCKETS!  I can’t stress this enough. The Champs-Elysées is a pickpockets’ paradise, as are other tourist sites. Here are two of them here below, Romanian gypsies walking in front of me. They turned around, saw me taking a photo, and demanded money. “In your dreams,” I said and walked on. They are quite brazen. Be even more brazen. Show them who’s boss.

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It’s important to wear your handbag with the long strap crossed diagonally across your chest. Or a short-strapped one with the purse tucked under your arm. The worst is to walk with your handbag dangling from your hand as it could be snatched by thieves on a scooter.

  • Keep your wallet at the bottom of your purse.
  • Never hang your purse on the back of a chair in a public place, where it’s out of your sight. Keep it on your lap. If you must put it on the floor, tuck the strap under your thigh, or at least put the chair leg through it.
  • Be sure your purse is in front of you as you enter revolving doors, board trains, etc.
  • Never set your purse down in a shop and turn your attention elsewhere.
  • In public restrooms, loop your bag’s strap around the hook and keep your eye on the bag. Dropped coins in the stall beside could be a distraction ruse.
  • To prevent a drive-by bag snatch, walk far from the curb, on the side of the street towards traffic.
  • Don’t be fooled at outdoor cafes, where the space is bordered by potted plants. Thieves can reach in between the plants and grab your bag.

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