New Year’s Eve in Paris

I have much to tell about my recent travels, but I think we’ll start with the one that was the most noteworthy: New Year’s Eve in Paris.

I met Fabulous Cousin in Paris for a week of eating, drinking, talking, picture taking and more talking. It was decadence personified.  More on this later, but for now we’re going to talk about the SUPREME DISAPPOINTMENT that was New Year’s Eve.

I’d spent New Year’s Eve 2000 in Paris, which was understandably spectacular. And in the ensuing years, I always looked for images of the Eiffel Tower on this special night, all exploding light and elegance. So, when Fabulous Cousin chose Paris for New Year’s, I immediately started chatting up the event that would be midnight in the City of Lights.

We headed to the bridge off the Place de la Concorde and got a great spot for viewing. The tower looked like this from 11PM to midnight:

New Year's Eve 2009

At midnight, it started sparkling, like a million diamonds.  Everyone began cheering:

New Year's Eve 2009

And a few minutes later, it went back to its normal orange light:

New Year's Eve 2009

Everyone just kind of looked at each other, shrugged, then walked over to the Champs Elysees and stood around, drinking Champagne and chatting and taking pictures of drunk people driving around the Place de la Concorde screaming BONNE ANNEE as police in riot gear tried very hard not to pay attention.

The highlight, by far, were the Arab-run grease trucks serving up delicious sammies and bottles of Champagne and blasting dance music. Also of note, if absurdly expensive, was the pecan pie I had and the chocolate crepe my cousin had at our café pit-stop on the way home.

There were no fireworks. 

WHY WHERE THERE NO FIREWORKS?  France, why do you continue to disappoint me so? And Paris, I am particularly upset with you. I expected more of you.


7 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve in Paris

  1. Wow, that’s seriously weird. I was there for Bastille Day a few years back, celebrating on the huge terrace at my friend’s high-rise on top of Télégraphe, and we not only got to see the Paris fireworks, but displays in several of the suburbs, too. And it’s not like it’s been so dry recently that they’d pose a hazard. And they’re not doing that fizzy Eiffel Tower on the hour any more? I blame Sarkozy!

  2. Ed,

    The second picture is the fizzy thing. That still happens every hour. That’s my point – we all gathered around simply to see the thing it does every hour anyway! Stupid French.

  3. Whaaat? They use the diamond thing every hour and that’s all they did for NYE? You’d think they could come up with something better than THAT. At the very least, champagne for everyone!
    And why no fireworks? That stinks.


  5. I went to Paris to welcome 2010 by the Eiffel Tower and waited there for hours in freezing cold but I was very sad to realise that there was no fireworks. There was nothing to suggest countdown. I didn’t even realise when it wa midnight. All we had was the sparkling Eiffel Tower which did it all night anyway. Sad really. We left London to celebrate the New Year in Paris and I felt let down big time. Shame, I love Paris.

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