I Love Touring Paris - The Ninth Arrondissement
The ninth arrondissement is located on the Right Bank of the Seine River. Its land area is slightly more than 0.8 square miles (about 2.2 square kilometers). While its population is about fifty–five thousand the area hosts over one hundred ten thousand jobs and is a business center of Paris.
The Olympia is Paris’s oldest music hall and one of the most famous in the world. It has also hosted circuses and the ballet. When business was slow it did a long stint as a movie theater. And in the 1990s it was almost transformed into a parking lot. Famous Olympia performers include Édith Piaf, Jacques Brel, and Jeff Buckley, but the list goes on and on.
A different sort of music hall the Folies Bergère north east of the Olympia was built in the mid Nineteenth Century as an opera house with the name Folies Trévise. But to protect his reputation the Duc de Trévise had its name changed shortly afterwards. Among its famous performers were the singer-dancer Joséphine Baker who wore a skirt made of bananas and the Maurice Chevalier, but nobody remembers what he wore.
The Neo-Baroque Palais Garnier, usually called the Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera) seats 2200 opera fans. Its stage can hold up to 450 artists. Even if you don’t like opera, you should visit this splendid building with its statues and busts of famous composers. Construction started in 1862 but was only completed in 1875. The building sits on a former swamp over an underground lake. It took eight months of pumping just to remove the water. In 1896 a counter-weight of its magnificent six-ton chandelier fell killing someone.
This opera house is the inspiration for the French novel The Phantom of the Opera and the musical of the same name, the longest running and most lucrative Broadway show in history. The new Paris Opera, known as the Opéra Bastille is on the other, less opulent side of town. It was supposed to replace the old one, but did not.
Galeries Lafayette is a 10-storey department store dating from the beginning of the previous century. You might want to look at the building, its beautiful Art Nouveau staircases, and its wares even if you are not in a buying mood. This is the flagship store of an international chain. One branch even opened in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan but went out of business. What do you want to bet that somebody got fired?
The competitor Printemps (Spring) flagship department store is just down the street from Galeries Lafayette. It is also part of an international chain, and its only A