Tag Archives: Grand Palais

Sunday Morning Walk to the Raspail Market

“Bon dimanche,” as one sometimes hears in France. Or, “happy Sunday”, as one never hears at home. My Sunday began gray and cold, but I was determined to take a long walk and the dreary weather did not deter me. As it turned out, a puffy coat, warm scarf, hat, gloves, and a brisk pace kept me perfectly comfortable. The sun surprised me along the way, (of course it did, seeing as how I hadn’t brought my sunglasses) and the morning developed into a lovely day. I enjoyed my outing so much that I found myself wishing for a walking companion with whom to share my joy. Being solo, I opted to take a lot of pictures, and I hope they will communicate some of the contentment I felt along the way.

These red cranes were lined up on the Champs-Elysées near the Grand Palais. I loved the way they looked through the bare trees

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I think I might have gotten cold if I had been waiting in this looooong line at the Grand Palais. All these folks had waited until the final day of the Hokusai exhibit and were paying the price for their procrastination.

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Um, no thanks I”ll pass.

It was a tad chilly for the upper deck of the tourist tour bus.

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After crossing the river, I began walking with my eyes looking up at the elegant buildings lining Blvd. Saint-Germain.

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Also along this street are several sad signs honoring soldiers who died there in World War II.

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Many pastry shops still feature the lovely “galettes du roi”, which are made of puff pastry and almond paste and eaten in December and January in observance of Epiphany. Each contains a darling little “feve” which one hopes to get in his or her piece but also hopes not to break a tooth on. He who gets the prize gets to wear the crown! Need I mention that these taste infinitely better than American king cakes? I didn’t think so.

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I walked a bit longer than I needed to behind this mom and daughter because she was so darned cute.

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Hellooooo? Does anyone up there want to go on a walk with me?

My destination was the Sunday organic market at Avenue Raspail. I didn’t need to buy produce, but it’s always entertaining. And beautiful. Oh my.

Busy market but so much nicer than Sunday in HEB.

Busy market but so much nicer than Sunday in HEB.

Eating local is pretty easy to do in France.

Eating local is pretty easy to do in France.

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Bonjour Madame!

Bonjour Madame!

These people, and many others, were happy to wait in line for these eggs.

These people, and many others, were happy to wait in line for these eggs.

I think these lovely products were made from olive wood, although I did not confirm.

I think these lovely products were made from olive wood, although I did not confirm.

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Winter produce is so photogenic!

I wandered around a bit after leaving the market, because it was just too pretty to hop on the bus for home.

The Grande Dame of department stores was looking stunning in the sunshine.

The Grande Dame of department stores was looking stunning in the sunshine.

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Cuteness abounds.

Cuteness abounds.

When at last I got on the 83, I sat in the very back of the bus, which is an elevated row of seats. I pretty much felt like the Boss of the Bus.

Home, James.

Home, James.

Never forget to look out the window when you are riding the 83 back home.

Never forget to look out the window when you are riding the 83 back home.

Instead of my usual bounty of produce, today I have only some delicious baked items from my trip to the market.

This gorgeous English muffin was delicious with a cup of tea when I got home. Of course, it was really just another vehicle for salted butter, but whatever.

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And what do you think these are?

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If you said “tomato and onion and cheese tartlet to go with your lentil soup tonight”, you are correct. If you said they look like boobies, you are just nasty.

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Because they clearly look like eyes. And the nose and mouth are “chaussons aux pommes”. Apple turnovers to you. Dessert to me. Yum!

I really loved my Sunday morning. I hope that you found some joy in yours, too. Thanks for letting me be part of it!

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Marche Raspail, Paris in winter

Paris in Springtime

Sunday’s sun was nowhere to be seen yesterday, but that didn’t keep me from tromping all over Paris.  True, the last couple of walks were taken just to keep myself from falling asleep (darn you, jet lag), but they did the trick and were totally enjoyable.

My first outing was to the Grand Palais, where I enjoyed a video-art exhibition by BIll Viola.  If, like me, you are unfamiliar with Bill Viola, check out his website here. Mr. Viola uses video and sound to explore universal human experiences such as death, birth, and the unfolding of consciousness.  I can’t say I understood it all, but it was definitely interesting. Here are some still shots from the exhibit, although his were all moving.

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As you can probably tell, these images appeared to be floating silently in water.

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Later in the afternoon I put on my walking shoes and headed for Parc Monceau. It was beautiful, even in the shadows. I think the mild winter gave spring a bit of a nudge, as Paris is more “bloomed out” than I remember for this time of year.

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The school kids were out for recess and were so darned cute.

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Of all the wonderful sights at the park this afternoon, guess what made me the happiest?

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Yes, our old friends were on their bench today, reading the newspaper.  All is right with the world.

One final walk to the river, because I couldn’t risk falling asleep before 8:00 pm.

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Of course, now it’s 10:05 p.m. and guess who is WIDE awake?

Words With Friends, anyone?

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Filed under art, gardens, Grand Palais, Parc Monceau, Paris, Uncategorized

Fashion Week Paris

As you probably know, twice a year the fashion world gathers in Paris for Fashion Week.  Usually, I am aware it’s Fashion Week, and then I yawn and say, “wow- Fashion Week is over and I didn’t see any signs of it”.  But yesterday I decided to see what it was all about. Of course I didn’t have a coveted invitation to any of the fashion shows, so I stood outside the venues and looked for people who were famous, might be famous, or just wanted to be famous (there were lots of those).

First, I arrived at Trocadero at 9:30 in the morning, which was way early for the Sacai show which began at 11:00.  No, I have no idea who Sacai is, but it was the first show of the day with a publicized venue.  The Stella McCartney show (9:30) would have been better, but one had to have an invitation in order to know where the show was being held.  So there I was at Trocadero, which is just across from the Eiffel Tower, early on a cold morning.

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Very gradually, people in funky outfits began showing up.  Most had the white envelope required for admission; others were there just to be seen and to see who else showed up.

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Next I took the metro to the Grand Palais, where a crowd was already gathering for the 12:00 Leonard show.

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This woman was very popular with the photographers.

This woman was very popular with the photographers.

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I thought this woman looked very nice- and that bag!

I thought this woman looked very nice- and that bag!

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loved the matching Asian couple with the dots

loved the matching Asian couple with the dots

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The only sort-of famous people whom I half-way recognized were these two.

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With the help of friends, I now know that he is French designer Jean-Claude Jitrois and she is American actress Sarah Marshall.  Would any of you have known that?

I couldn’t have been that close to the Tuileries and not visited them, so I walked on down the Champs-Elysees to the gardens and ate a sandwich in the sun.

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Then I went home and rested my dogs for a half-hour before heading for Parc Monceau and later to a cocktail party with more fashionistas and one very famous and beautiful French woman.  But more on that later.

A bientôt!

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower, fashion, Grand Palais, Paris Fashion Week, Tuileries

Lazy Sunday

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After a slow start, we hit the streets Sunday afternoon under a gorgeous blue sky.  I think it was probably the bluest, warmest day Paris had seen in weeks.  We walked over to the Grand Palais and joined the queue for the Edward Hopper exhibit, which ends next week.  The line didn’t look all that long, but it moved v-e-r-y slowly.

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We stood in that line for close to an hour and a half before deciding that the sun didn’t shine in Paris enough for us to waste it standing on the side of the Grand Palais.  So we left.  Later, Hopper.

We walked past the Petit Palais, which looked quite splendid basking in the sun.

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We crossed the river and then looked back over the bridge and noticed that our sun was quickly being chased away by ominous clouds.  Paris, you are so fickle.

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So we did the only thing we could do under the circumstances.  We took refuge in a cafe and a glass of wine.  And then we scurried home before the rain began.

And that was Sunday.

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Filed under Grand Palais, Paris museum

Grand Palais

The Grand Palais as seen from the Alexandre II...

The Grand Palais as seen from the Alexandre III bridge, in Paris, France. Français : Le Grand Palais depuis le pont Alexandre-III à Paris (France). Italiano: Il Grand Palais oltre il Ponte Alessandro III a Parigi, Francia. Русский: Вид на Большой дворец с моста Александра III в Париже, Франция Tiếng Việt: Grand Palais nhìn từ cầu Alexandre III, Paris, Pháp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I had two occasions to go inside my favorite neighborhood building- the Grand Palais.  This gorgeous, glass-topped building was built between 1897 and 1900 for the World Fair held in Paris in 1900.

A week or so ago I went to a photography exhibit there by Helmut Newton, which was fascinating.  I wasn’t familiar with his work and loved the interesting Vogue shots, as well as the more unusual photos for Playboy and others.  Yep-lots of beautiful naked women were hanging on the walls of the Grand Palais that day.  

Two days later I went back to the Grand Palais for an art fair being held in the large area under the glass roof.  All the other exhibits I had seen there were in the wings and I was excited to finally get into the main part of the building.  It was spectacular.

Looking down into one of my favorite restaurants- the Mini Palais!

From afar

We are off to New York City today for the holiday weekend.  We will be meeting our daughter who has been traveling during a Gap Year with Thinking Beyond Borders since early September.  We’re so excited to see her again and to hear about her adventures.

I wish you all a very happy Easter in your neck of the woods, wherever that may be.

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Dear Santa, please send me bigger pants.

While many of you are no doubt making shopping lists and dutifully scratching off items purchased, baking Christmas goodies, and decorating with a vengeance, I am far, far away from all that holiday craziness.  This first impending Christmas as an ex-pat has found me in a strange time warp, of sorts.  I know that Christmas is coming in a few short weeks, but because my television is not telling me to go buy all the best gifts before they are gone, and because no horrible music is being piped into my head, and because I do not feel compelled to put even one piece of greenery in this apartment we are vacating in ten days, I am able to live happily in denial and carry on as if I don’t even celebrate this crazy holiday.  Landing in Houston on Dec. 17th will be a rude awakening, and I will probably panic and throw myself into mall mania, but as for today…..sweetness and light prevail.

Instead of heading to a mall, I walked up to the Grand Palais and finally saw the amazing exhibit of art collected by the Stein family in the early-mid 1900’s.  Even without a Santa photo center or strains of Little Drummer Boy, it was a fabulous outing.

The New York Times has written several articles on this exhibit, which was in San Francisco and will also be in New York.  Here is a link if you are interested in knowing more about it.

The Grand Palais is one of my favorite photo subjects, in part because it is a stone’s throw from my apartment.  One would not want to throw a stone at it, however, as the Grand Palais wears a gorgeous glass roof.  Isn’t it amazing?  You’ll see it a lot on this blog, in different kinds of light, because I never get tired of it.

This is what the entrance looked like this morning. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait in that line, because I have a pass to the GP. I felt like I was sooo much better than all those people.

But you might.    I loved the exhibit and was so happy I didn’t let it get away  in January without seeing it.  It’s pretty impressive that one family was able to amass such a collection of art, and even more impressive that they were able to have such an impact on the recognition and appreciation of modern art.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, French Christmas trees are definitely not American Christmas trees.  The real ones are quite diminutive and apparently don’t require water.  The fake ones are not ashamed of being fake- they embrace it and dare you not to notice.

This pink number could be in your living room for a mere $250.

And finally, our pastry up-date.  Friday brought us brioche and raisin buns.

I think I forgot to share this beautiful little Pear Charlotte- so, so good.

Last night’s offering was eaten too quickly for me to photograph it.  Puff pastry (and we’re not talking Pepperidge Farm, people) and almond paste/cream.   As we were all swooning over our first few bites, Mlle Cordon Bleu had the nerve to ask if we wanted to know how much butter was in it.  I sent her  to her room.

Happy shopping,baking,decorating, mes amies!

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Filed under Paris museum