The Big Wheel at ConcordeBy Sedulia
On Tuesday I drove by Concorde and saw a man high up on a ladder, almost to the top of a scaffolding in a triangle shape. He was setting up this big wheel, which is the name the French give Ferris wheels. There has been a Ferris wheel near Concorde at Christmastime since I came to Paris, but it was in the fair in the Tuileries garden, very close to the Louvre. In the runup to the year 2000, Paris set up a big wheel at the foot of the Champs-Élysées, and it was so popular that it stayed for a year. Originally it was supposed to be up for just one year, but as the owner said, he was the only one who knew how to take it down, and Parisians loved it... so somehow it stayed on, and on. I think in the end it was up for two years. Now it has become a much-loved Paris tradition.
This year, the Big Wheel opens to the public on Friday 16 November and it will be there until Sunday 13 January. It costs 10 euros but you know what? It's well worth it on a balmy evening. The big wheel here and in the Tuileries have the best view in Paris.