Category Archives: Paris museum

More Paris Love

On the second full day of my mom and niece’s visit we headed over to Notre Dame and the Marais.

Our first stop was the Hotel de Ville, which is offering an amazing exhibit of Paris photos taken over the past eighty years. I had seen it with Mark but knew my mother would love it, too. She did.

Magnum-affiche

hotel de ville

hotel de ville

From there it is a quick walk across the river to Notre Dame. One would think that after so many visits I would no longer feel compelled to take pictures, but I just can’t help myself.

IMG_1933_2

IMG_1935_2

IMG_1941_2

IMG_1939_2

After lunch we walked to the Marais and I introduced my niece to Amorino gelato.

she said "grazie"

she said “grazie”

Our favorite place to eat gelato is the Place de Vosges.

IMG_1946_2

Finally, we walked to the newly-reopened Picasso Museum, which had been closed for a hundred years or so. Well, almost. It was closed for six years, which (even in France) is an inordinately long time for the renovation of a small museum. The home of the museum is the gorgeous 17th century Hôtel Salé, named after the original owner who was responsible for collecting the salt tax. Not being a huge Picasso fan, myself, the house was my favorite part. I confess to engaging in a little fantasy of being “Madame Salé”, telling the servants where to serve me my afternoon sherry.

IMG_1947_2

IMG_1950_2

IMG_1958_2

IMG_1957_2

IMG_1955_2

IMG_1953_2

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, mes amis!

1 Comment

Filed under art, Hotel de Ville, Marais, Notre Dame, Paris, Paris museum, Place de Vosges

Paris With The Ladies

It’s hard to believe that I have been running around Paris with my mom and my aunt for almost two weeks and haven’t posted a single word or photo. Clearly, I can be Blogger or Tour Guide but not simultaneously.

The September weather has been perfect for sight seeing- hardly a drop of rain the whole month. I know The Ladies have walked more than they thought they could, each day encouraged by the “10,000 steps” signal of my Fit Bit. We have taken a cab only once, and the rest of the time have been on foot or on metro (which usually involves a lot of stairs).  No one has stepped out in front of a bicycle or a bus or even stumbled over the frequent obstacles on sidewalks and footpaths. My goal was to fly them home in a vertical position, and with one more day to go, we are almost there. Hip hip (no broken ones) !!

On their first full day we ventured to the Marais, where we ate falafel and enjoyed the photography exhibit of Occupied Paris at the Musee Carnavelet.

The Musee Carnavelet

The Musee Carnavelet

IMG_4704

IMG_4705

 

Another day we visited the Camondo museum, which I have posted about many times. I wish they had a Frequent Flyer program there, because I would definitely have earned some drink tickets. Even though I can quote the audio guide by heart, I never tire of being in that beautiful house with the sad history.

IMG_4714

on the way there- looking toward Parc Monceau

gate at the park

gate at the park

IMG_4716

IMG_4719

IMG_4723

IMG_4718

IMG_4720

IMG_4721

IMG_4722

I will be heading back to Texas on Wednesday, assuming that Air France has ended its longest pilots’ strike ever. That’s why we call it Air Chance!

Stay tuned for more Paris With The Ladies. But be patient. I am working at a slow pace here.

2 Comments

Filed under art, Marais, Musee Carnavalet, Musee de Nissim de Camondo, Parc Monceau, Paris, Paris museum, Uncategorized

Still Loving Paris In August

IMG_4522

 

Paris was absolutely gorgeous yesterday. I wanted to do nothing but walk and gawk. And that is pretty much all I did.

On my way to the market I encountered the newly re opened Plaza Athénée Hotel, who looked stunning in the morning light. Wearing her trademark cream with electric red accents, she stole the red carpet. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her.

IMG_4456

IMG_4486

IMG_4460

 

IMG_4458

She was all, “I am zee Plaza Athénée. Yes, Carrie Bradshaw did stay here when she was in Paris.  And yes, I know I am beautiful. Now take your peectures and move along.” Five-star hotels can be haughty like that, especially when they have cars like this parked in front of them.

a Bentley convertible (I think)

a Bentley convertible (I think)

a Mazzeradi

Lambergini

Lamborghini

At last I tore myself away from her allure and rounded the corner to the President Wilson Market. I must say that the only time I have felt that August in Paris was less than optimal was when I saw all the empty stalls at the market. It made me kind of sad, because the atmosphere was just not the same. There were more vendors of non-food items, clearly catering to tourists, but that just gave the market a sort of “Super Target” kind of feel. I did enjoy the sparse crowd of shoppers, however.

IMG_4462

IMG_4463

IMG_4464

Just across the street, the Palais Galliera, the Fashion Museum,  was all decked out in lovely shades of orange.

IMG_4465

Wouldn't it be nice to live in that apartment building and look out over these grounds?

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in that apartment building and look out over these grounds?

IMG_4469

IMG_4471

IMG_4472

IMG_4467

IMG_4468

IMG_4476

If you are here before November 2, don’t miss this exhibit of gorgeous designer clothes from the Fifties. If you will not be here before then, check out many of the outfits here.

IMG_4477

 

Just up the street was another fancy hotel, the Shangri-La.

IMG_4516

IMG_4518

This beautiful gate with flowers peeping through it was next door.

IMG_4520

 

I went home for a quick lunch and then took a bus across the river to a neighborhood close to the Eiffel Tower, where I wandered aimlessly and happily.

IMG_4523

IMG_4524

IMG_4525

IMG_4527

IMG_4530

I adore this sign.

I adore this sign.

IMG_4532

And then I went home and took off my shoes.  The End.

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under Eiffel Tower, flowers, food markets, gardens, Palais Galliera, Paris, Paris museum

Walking Paris- 1900 and Last Weekend

Bonjour from Paris, mes amis! Our first guests of the season left yesterday morning after a nice weekend of good sights, good food and wine, and lots of walking. Our friends were both wearing their Fitbits, which prompted me to order a replacement for the one I accidentally washed with my dirty laundry. This time I went for the more expensive one that goes on your wrist (in “Slate”, no less), and I hope it sticks around longer than its predecessor. As an aside, if you are obsessed with your Fitbit (or know someone who is), you might enjoy this short essay by the hilarious David Sedaris.

My friends and I got very lucky on Friday when we walked by the Petit Palais and there was no line for the much acclaimed exposition entitled “Paris of 1900 – The City of Entertainment”. This is a fantastic exhibit on many facets of Paris at the time it hosted the World Exhibition in 1900. It’s quite extensive, and includes paintings, objets d’art, costumes, photographs, film, furniture, and more. I could have spent hours in there! Here is a gorgeous poster for the exhibit.

IMG_4115

As the poster says, it’s only here until August 17, so plan your trip to Paris tout de suite!

We also visited one of my favorites, le Musee de Nissim de Camondo, which I have gone on about before. I am still entranced by it, and this time I took some pictures of the kitchen, which is my favorite room in the entire mansion. I would hate to have been in charge of polishing all that copper.

IMG_4086

IMG_4087

IMG_4088

IMG_4089

We walked by this swanky little sweet shop and I couldn’t resist a quick pic from the doorway.

IMG_4090

Walking home one evening we passed two Louboutin shops, both with lines of people waiting to get in them. I was so curious about those folks- were they standing in line just to go in and look, or did they really plan to buy? I should have asked them, I guess. Inquiring minds want to know.

IMG_4095

IMG_4093

IMG_4094

Those shoes definitely were not made for walking.  Not on Paris streets, anyway.

That’s all for today, friends. Keep on walking and counting your steps in your fancy shoes.

Over and out in my ballet flats.

2 Comments

Filed under fashion, Musee de Nissim de Camondo, Paris, Paris museum, petit palais, Uncategorized

Speed Bump

Bonjour, mes amis. I am loath to tell you that my Paris antics have been  curtailed due to clumsiness  an unfortunate accident I suffered while visiting Le Musee de la Vie Romantique on Friday. The museum is in a charming, crooked little house build in 1830 at the foot of Montmartre hill. The house feels untouched by passing time, and one can still hear the conversation and music that must have filled its rooms when George Sand, Chopin, and other artists used to congregate here.

IMG_4114

IMG_4115

A two room studio sits just in front and to the side of the house, and that is where I enjoyed the paintings in both rooms and then stepped out of the second, forgetting that I had climbed two steps to get into that room just minutes before. I didn’t land in a heap on the floor, but I did perform mid-air acrobatics before landing hard on my right foot. All to say, it isn’t broken or even severely injured, but it has slowed me down significantly. As you probably know, my little adventures usually involve many miles of walking on uneven and crowded streets, and I have been hesitant to do that on an ankle that still looks lumpy and slightly fat. Which is why I spent this last delightfully temperate weekend on our couch, catching up on Downton Abbey and reading The Antagonist, both of which were very entertaining but not Paris!

Oh yes, before we left the museum we had to sit and enjoy a spot of tea in this charming courtyard.

IMG_4116

One other instance of unfairness this weekend- I had to lose an hour of sleep for the second time this spring, as France changed its time on Sunday. I wonder why all countries don’t move clocks at the same time? It was nice having only 6 hours difference between us and home, and now it’s 7.  However, I do look forward to having evenings lit for after-dinner walks, once I am able to enjoy them again.

In closing, we did get out for a nice dinner on the l’Ile de Saint- Louis Sunday night. We ate at Mon Vieil Ami and enjoyed smiling service and delicious food.

IMG_3870

IMG_3868

For dessert we bought Berthillon ice cream at the stand by the river that always has a long line in summer but was blissfully short on a Sunday night in March. We ate our cones while leaning against the bridge, watching the water, and listening to a very good street guitar player. Not a bad way to end a lazy weekend at all.

 

 

I always enjoy being in that neighborhood at night. It feels so dramatic.

IMG_3874

A quick update- my ankle is much better (hooray!).  We are off to Dubai tomorrow for a quick trip.  Hoping for no speed bumps!

3 Comments

Filed under Montmartre, Paris, Paris dining, Paris museum

The Place We Live

IMG_3785

As soon as I arrived in Paris, I researched all the current exhibits in my favorite museums so that I didn’t miss anything that might be closing soon.  I am so glad I did, because otherwise I would not have seen a wonderful photography exhibit at the Jeu De Paume.

I had never heard of Robert Adams before seeing this exhibit.  Here is how the Yale University Art Gallery describes his work:

“For over four decades Robert Adams has photographed the changing landscape of the American West, finding there a fragile beauty that endures despite our troubled relationship with nature, and with ourselves. His photographs are distinguished not only by their economy and lucidity, but also by their mixture of grief and hope.”

This exhibition, entitled “The Place We Live”, is composed of black and white photographs taken in Colorado, California, and Oregon.  Some were simple scenes of American life, a la Edward Hopper.  Others were sickening images of the ravages of clear cutting old growth forests, and other assaults we have inflicted on our environment.

I took some photos with my phone, but you can see better images of his work at the Yale link above.

IMG_3777

IMG_3779

IMG_3780

IMG_3781

IMG_3782

IMG_3783

IMG_3784

I was really touched by the exhibit and am so grateful to have caught it.  The Jeu De Paume is delightfully small and rarely crowded.  Located in the corner of the Tuileries, just across from the Place de la Concorde, it’s easily accessible and frequently has excellent photography exhibits.  Don’t miss it on your next visit to Paris!

IMG_3787

I walked this path on my way home.  The next time I walked through the Tuileries, that gold ball was in a large crate, being taken away.  Too bad- I kind of liked it there.

and out the gates toward home

and out the gates toward home

 

“Are there affirmable days or places in our deteriorating world? Are there scenes in life, right now, for which we might conceivably be thankful? Is there a basis for joy or serenity, even if felt only occasionally? Are there grounds now and then for an unironic smile?”

ROBERT ADAMS

 

2 Comments

Filed under art, Paris, Paris museum, Tuileries, Uncategorized

Tuesday With A Friend

I spent yesterday with a good friend who lived here with me for a year and a half but moved back to Houston last summer.  She was a good partner in crime, and my shopping muse, and I miss her! We wandered around some of our favorite places and pretended that she still lived here.

On my way to our meeting spot, the Museum of Decorative Arts, I enjoyed my first visit to the Tuileries since my return.  The day looks colder than it was, although it definitely did not feel like spring.

IMG_4060

IMG_4061

IMG_4062

IMG_4063

IMG_4064

IMG_4065

When the Museum of Decorative Arts (part of the Louvre) opened at 11:00, we were in line to see a current exhibition of the creations and inspirations of the Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten.  The exhibition was very well done, and included gorgeous inspiration pieces by other designers, some from the 19th century. Sorry- photos were interdites.

Next we hopped on a bus to go across the river to St. Germain.  After a light lunch at Le Cuisine de Bar, the small restaurant associated with and next to Poilane bakery, we wandered over to our favorite department store, Le Bon Marche.  Everyone should experience this store at least once, if only to walk around and be amazed by its grandeur.  I could happily do it once a week.

The grocery section, called Le Grand Epicerie, is a wonderland of gourmet foods and gorgeous produce. It had been re-done since our last visit, so we were interested to see what changes had been made. Such a fun place to wander- a far cry from my little stinky Franprix!

wall of waters

wall of waters

you say tomato

you say tomato

IMG_4068

From there we crossed the street to the main part of the store.

IMG_4072

My favorite section was the bathing suit department, which was designed to look like a large swimming pool.  Fantastic!

IMG_4071

IMG_4070

IMG_4073

Isn’t that amazing? It’s almost enough to make the prospect of swimsuit shopping a tad less horrendous. Maybe.

Paris is the perfect place for wandering, and it’s even better to do it with a friend.

Merci, my friends, for sharing it with me!

3 Comments

Filed under fashion, gardens, grocery shopping, Paris, Paris dining, Paris museum, Tuileries