Edward Lai Harner, Edward Harner
Andrea Harner
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January 31, 2007

The Homogenization of the Champs Elysees - The Parisians won't stand for it!

Megastores March Up Avenue, and Paris Takes to Barricades by Elaine Sciolino.

Yay Frenchies, do what you do best! I hope you're successful so when I visit Paris next, I don't discover that I could have shopped at the same, big, boring stores a few blocks from my apt!

There was a time when the Champs-�lys�es stood for grand living, high style and serendipity. With the Arc de Triomphe on one end and the Tuileries Gardens on the other, you could discover an underground jazz band at midnight and down oysters and Champagne at dawn.

But the road where de Gaulle celebrated France"s liberation from the Nazis, the one known as "the most beautiful avenue on earth," has, like Times Square and Oxford Street in London, turned into a commercialized money trap.

Most of the music clubs are gone. Movie theaters are closing. Sometimes, all that seems to be left on the 1.2-mile stretch are the global chain stores that can afford the rent.

And so, in a truly French moment, the Paris city government has begun to push back, proclaiming a crisis of confidence and promising a plan aimed at stopping the "banalization" of the Champs-�lys�es. The question is whether it is too late.

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