Day 9: May 18, Paris
Weather: Glorious, cool to moderate (low 60s), clear, a day for walking, windy and raining in evening
Pre-breakfast of French-press coffee and toast, breakfast of imported Grape Nuts and two types of strawberries.
Our first shot at the metro is an easy one: get on the purple line at St-Paul, go a bunch of stops and get off at Les Sablons. Decide to buy two of the ten ticket passes; no problema, it’s in English, put in the credit card…rejected…try another credit card (accepted) and out pop 20 individual small mag stripe tickets. Wait, it was in English, right?
Take a few minutes to make sure we’re going in the right direction and confirm with the station master. Put the individual ticket in the entrance and we’re on the Metro. A bargain, each ride is around $1.50 regardless of how far you’re going in the city.
12 stops later, we jump off and walk to the Fondation Louis Vitton, a Frank Gehry museum. Research said the museum opened at 10:30, we’re gonna be right on time. Along the walk, we see a sign that says the museum opens at noon on Mondays. When we get there, the actual opening time is 11.
The Guggenheim in Bilbao is the best form and function art building THB has ever been in, and this one is not far behind. The art looks great and the building is spectacular (the sort of place the rich and famous rent out for a giant party).
Is Gehry serious about the art: this must be the largest blank wall in any museum in the world. For Frank, putting a room inside a room made more sense.
|From the front entrance|
|Looking down from 1st floor (those are people down there, not dolls)|
The basement gallery has some of Louis’s collection and every piece jumps off the wall. THB knows some of this is the lighting, and the pics are very well lit; maybe LEDs? Maybe it is because the paintings have been retouched? No matter, everything looks sharp, even to old weak-eyes.
|That;s one hat on the bench|
Of note: pictures without flash are allowed everywhere except in the private collection, where every painting (e.g., The Scream) has been reprinted millions of times. Hmmmmm….
|Video artist, don't remember name|
|THB has hung work on paper this exact same way!|
|Imagine a museum where there is a wall this large left blank, intentionally, think Fondation LV and Frank Gehry|
The Oliasson Grotto is not easy to see, in the basement. THB also took a picture of how it is supposed to look like. This is why you should buy the postcards, not take your own photos!
|The postcard view|
If this very short video plays, it is the moving version of still life above
Metro back and along the way to 20 Turenne we pass an éclair shop, L’Eclair de Genie, that we have an article about in our stack of research (THB almost threw this one out, too). Purchase one smallish salted caramel éclair.
|Three times we were in station same time as trains going in opposite direction|
|A shame to eat this one, it was a 2013 special|
Lunch is roti chicken salad with rocket and potatoes, olives imported from NY, parmesan cheese, toasted boule, a taste of Chablis and one excellent smallish salted caramel éclair with a chocolate button.
One smallish salted caramel éclair, excellent post-lunch dessert, $6.
Take naps after lunch, and not just because of the wine. Even with good nights’ sleep, we are still 6 hours off of our adjusted NY time.
Successful shopping within blocks of our apartment: eyeglasses and clothes for DB, bread for THB. Slight differentiation in price, our hood accommodates all budgets!
In the eyeglass store, at one point one of the sales assistants came up to the guy helping us (who was terrific) and whispered to him and he translated for us: a group of three Chinese couples (in their 30s or early 40s) we’re coming downstairs after meeting the CEO and were loud. So it was, they made quite a splash and the women were very stylishly dressed. THB tried to take their picture, too dim; the sales assistant helping us said THEY had been taking pictures non-stop and even took his picture. One of the women attempted to reach into the window display and had to almost be physically stopped.
Live theater in a Parisian eyewear shop!
Nothing so dramatic at the clothes store (DB got three stylish Japanese tops), nor at the bread stores (lousy bagel, very light pletzel at Jewish bakery; baguette and two croissants down the street).
Drinks and snacks, ravioli and white asparagus and rocket salad and melon and Chablis for dinner, and overcast skies, followed by heavy rain at 9pm.
Book Review: Barracuda, Christos Tsialkis: THB made it through about 65% of this long novel. As a teenager, Danny was a very good swimmer and his success was fueled by anger and a drive to show he was better than the “golden” boys. After one loss, he was just an angry young guy, who had to go to prison to realize he was gay. After swimming stopped, so did the novel.