Grande Arche :
It is all, every last bit of it, all reinforced concrete and
granite and zillions of square metres of every kind and colour
of glass that you can think of. It is under construction forever.
It has its own ring road. Train station. Now it has Metro too,
added to the RER that is even further underground; that is
a direct line to, where else? to Disneyland, way, way, out
Taking in the sun on the steps of the pedestal of the Grand
Its 54-step pedestal, faces east to La Esplanade, an ultra-large
concrete desert, that runs back towards Paris, almost down
to the Seine at the Pont de Neuilly. Thousands upon thousands
of people work in the shops and high, very high and ultra very
high office buildings of La Defense. Other thousands work not
so far, but further underground.
View from the base of the Grand Arch - looking East toward
the center of Paris.
On the vast Esplanade there is nothing. Except wind, and in
winter, rain. Oh there is a little carousel, and there is a
little airstrip for skateboarders, but there is nothing like
a Paris cafe even though the postal address is 'Paris-La Defense.'
So, for the French, it is a little bit like downtown Albania.
In other words: not in France.
Escalators lead from the Esplanade level down to the Métro/RER
station and underground shopping area.
There are hundreds of restaurants, snack bars, fast food frozen-burger
places, bars, wine-bars, cafes, pizzarias, sandwich bars, and