Day two met with extreme Jet Lag! I could not really sleep my first night and through the rest of the evenings spent in this beautiful city, I could not find my REM pattern at all – oh, well. I did so much walking my first night in Paris, I felt something that I had not felt in years…ever…my calves were screaming and my feet were pulsating with pain! LOL! I didn’t think that the walking would bother me but Paris is very uneven in many areas, you go up and down so many set of stairs in the metro alone that you really do think that you are in some kind of training, but no one bothered to mention it to you. And, in the evening, when you climb up yet another set of stairs, into your hotel room your body lets you know that it has seen one too many sights!
Alas – I still got up, got dressed, and made my way to the Premiér place for impressionistic art and my absolute favorite: The Museé D’Orsay!
So many of my favorite artists and pieces are here: Renoir “Dance at the Moulin de la Galette” because of it’s expression of joy for life, laughter, and happiness.
Manet: “The Luncheon on the Grass” because of the “I do not care” attitude of the nude looking right at the viewer. She doesn’t care if there are two guys right next to her but one often thinks…why the heck are the men not undressed but Manet was smart because he did this so that his art could get noticed after being rejected by the prestigious Salon jury of 1863. He did get into the “Salon des Refuses” (The rejected) – another fine example of artists having to ‘play the game’ so that they can show their work.
But what I come here for the most, my absolute love, the irrepressible “Olympia”. Another fine work my Edoúard Manet, so much is being said in this painting, and the way it is shown, against a dark, sexy, maroon background on the walls of the D’Orsay, all by itself. An absolute scandal of the day, it depicted a prostitute, once again looking straight at the viewer, without shame, but in fact, being presented with flowers (by her maid – another scandal), undoubtedly from a suitor or “john” of their time. And, the use of the black cat with it’s tail up, signifies arousal. Tsk Tsk, Monsieur Manet.
The old converted railroad of the D’Orsay is so structurally pleasing, the glass clock being one of the most photographed in the world, is yet another good reason that I go.
After a long morning at the museum it was time for lunch and I made my way to Les Antiquaires, on one of the most hottest days in Paris, and had a marvelous salad of fresh Smoked salmon (which in France is NEVER over salty), orange slices, tomatoes, and fresh crawfish, with a homemade balsamic vinegrette! It was spectacular:
I walked off my lunch as I strolled through the Tuileries Gardens. What is so magnificent about this to me is that – yes, it is a tourist attraction, but the French love their gardens, museums, and sites as much as we do. They use them as a function of their day to day lives and I feel that I am just witnessing the continueym of culture that this city has to offer – sitting in on a slice of their lives much like the Manet “Luncheon on the Grass” – I get to watch it all – LIVE.
Within the Jardins des Tuileries is the wonderful Museum de L’Orangerie, this is where the famous waterlilly paintings by Monet are housed and are a marvel to look at. I tried in vain to get a decent picture but the paintings are too long and too magnificent to capture with the camera.
After a morning and early afternoon of museums – I took a much needed break, went back to the hotel, freshened up, and got ready to meet new friends. My friend Ladd introduced me, via Facebook of all places, a friend and collugue of his that was from Los Angeles and moved to Paris to live with her husband and family. We met at this awesome restaurant, in the 1st, called Tres Honore, where things were very hip and the food was great. The heat started to finally break this evening so it was easy to sit out on the patio, al fresco, and dine for nearly 3 hours as Rebecca and her husband, Andres(sp)? Enchanted me with their tales of how they met, what they do for a living, and their aspirations – I enjoyed it all!
This was quite a Thursday and ended it feeling very cosmopolitan and open minded about meeting new people, having a good time with new friends, and finding joy when I look for it.