Friday, July 16, 2010

What I learned in Paris

10. The French really do say "Oh la la"
9. Stripes are always in fashion
8. Old men walking poodles can be spotted everywhere
7. If you don't step in poo, don't worry, it falls from the sky
6. Ice is for tourists
5. Beauty is as common as bicycles
4. Romance is in the air
3. Notre Dame is 75% fake, the real Notre Dame can be found in the museums
2. The Eiffel Tower is still breathtaking at 121 years old
1. It is everything and nothing I had ever imagined it to be

Friday, July 9, 2010

Paris a Day: #30

Au Revoir Paris. I will miss you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Paris a Day: #29

Today started off in the Cafe de l'Industrie, a great little cafe that plays jazz and the walls are hung with beautiful vintage nude photographs. This was our final meeting place for French. We drank coffee and gave our final presentation.

Afterward I headed back over to L'As du Fallafel for lunch. It costs about 2 euro more to eat inside than the take-out window, but with air conditioning and ice cold beverages, it was totally worth it.

The day ended with dinner at Mansouria with everyone from our classes. It was the perfect good-bye to our professors and a way to thank them for these past 4 weeks.

I have one more full day to say my good-byes to Paris.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Paris a Day: #28

Cumulus I
Louise Bourgeois

I went to the Pompidou and viewed the second largest collection of Modern Art. (New York's MoMA is still #1). It was a refreshing change of pace. Paris seems to be a living museum with all it's centuries old buildings and artwork, which are gorgeous, but to be able to go to the Pompidou and view some of the gritty and experimental artwork of the 20th and 21st centuries got my blood pumping.

They have a great exhibit of female artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Which opens with an installation by the Guerrilla Girls. The Guerrilla Girls are artists who maintain their anonymity by wearing Gorilla Masks while fighting to get equal representation for female, minority, and non-Western artists in museums all over the world. They do postering, billboards, publications, and other activism that brings about this sort of awareness. It was a great way to open the exhibit because it confronts the situation, one that many people probably hadn't considered.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paris a Day: #27

Les Catacombes de Paris

Monday, July 5, 2010

Paris a Day: #26

The best falafel I have ever eaten... from L'As du Fallafel

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Paris a Day: #25

This is a 10-foot tall statue of Thomas Jefferson facing the hôtel de Salm, or what it is known as today, le palais de la Légion d'honneur, in Paris. Jefferson served as the U.S. Minister in Paris from 1785-1789 where he enjoyed the architecture of the hôtel de Salm and used it as an inspiration for the rebuilding of Monticello.

He is one of the most important figures in U.S. History and it is only fitting that today of all days, 4 July 2010, I dedicate this post to my home and my heart, the United States of America. Happy Independence Day!

And please, if you have some time please read this wonderful post that reflects upon one of Jefferson's most important writings.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Paris a Day: #24

The Venus de Milo in all her armless glory. Although I have already made one visit to the Louvre, it was for a very short class and due to red tape and other issues we only got to be there for a little over an hour, meaning we saw very little. Today I spent about five or six hours and saw about maybe 1/3 of the collection.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Paris a Day: #23

I saw a play tonight that has been playing in the same theatre for the past 53 years: "La Cantatrice Chauve" written by Ionesco. Although I was not able to understand all of the French, I could comprehend enough to know it was very funny.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Paris a Day: #22

Today I went to Chartres Cathedral and got a quick tour of the grounds from the genius of Chartres, Malcolm Miller. He taught us how to read Gothic stained glass windows. Chartres Cathedral is the one of the best preserved Gothic cathedrals in Europe. During World War II the stained glass was removed and stored elsewhere to keep them from being damaged, therefore we were able to look at the original 12th century stained glass which is a rare treat.