Tuesday, January 16, 2018


I'm not exactly sure when I took this picture. It's probably some time in the '90s, and if I wanted to dig through the slide collection stored in boxes in the attic to find the date, I could. But I'm not doing that today. It was long enough ago that the rooftop café on top of the now-closed Samaritaine department store was still open; that's where I was when I took the picture.

Looking west along the Champs-Elysées. Color slide, 199?.

The colonnade and building in the foreground are the eastern facade of the sprawling Louvre museum. Behind it you can see the obelisk in the center of the Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Elysées stretching west to the Arc de Triomphe. Behind that, the axis continues out to La Défense and its high-rise development which, today, is even more high-rise and more developed than when this photo was snapped.


  1. Too bad you can't get back to that same rooftop for a photo now. It would be fascinating to see compare the skyline. We had all our slides digitized before our move to Spain (because we had boxes from both our fathers).

  2. We have bunches of slides from my dad's camera, too. I had prints made of about 20 of them, once, for my parents' anniversary, and it cost a fortune (to my young schoolteacher purse, anyway). I would love to get the rest of them digitized.

    It would be cool to see this view now, as Mitchell said. Is something else in the Samaritaine space, now?

  3. I never made it to that rooftop, so I'm happy to see what you saw there, Walt. A friend of ours sent his slides to someone in India to digitize them for a better price. I remember sending rolls of film off like that, only lost one roll but it was first photos of my son's birth--never again.

  4. When I went to Paris in the 90's I went to the top of the Samaritaine - what a fun experience so when my husband and I went there in 2004 I was anxious to show it to him. I looked and looked for it then found out it was out of business. I'm glad I was there when it was open. That earlier year you could also just walk up the Pieta in Rome - later encased in a plastic box. Don't wait to travel - you don't know when things you want to see will be changed.

  5. sillygirl is right, carpe diem and all that. I was lucky enough to get to Stonehenge on a cold winter morning when I had it to myself, and before it was fenced or there was a car park or anything.
    On digitizing photos -- I gather you can do it yourself these days. Anyone know about the little machines used to do that?

  6. mitch, I'll have to do some investigation to see if the new development will bring back the café. It's supposed to be winding up some time this year.

    judy, seems like from the comments that there are people you can pay to digitize slides. I did my myself with a slide scanner.

    evelyn, that's maddening!

    sillygirl, so true. Ken and I walked across the top of the Pont du Gard in the late '80s. Going back in the '00s, we saw that that's no longer allowed. Curiously, I recently saw a tv travel show that showed the hosts walking across the top, so I wonder if it's been re-opened or if they just got a special dispensation?

    emm, I have a Canon document scanner that has a negative/slide attachment. I can take up to 4 slides at a time. It's a bit tedious, but I did a lot of scanning one winter (a good indoor activity).


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