Monday, November 26, 2007

Paris, je veux retourner!



In spite of a nation-wide transport strike the entire time we were there, we had a lovely time in Paris. Here's a quick overview of the trip, with more to come after I de-jetlag.

The 82 year old mother was a COMPLETE champ, and many miles, or I should say, kilometers were walked because of the strike. When we got footsore, we jammed ourselves into the few-and-far-between Metro trains. I spent one entire ride being spooned by a Frenchman (as I said, an excellent trip!).

Art! art! art!!! Went to many museums, but I had a near religious experience in the Orangerie, where Monet's water lillies are installed. I had only seen individual panels of the Water Lillies before, so to be in the rooms and surrounded, as if swimming in his world, by his vision, of water and sky, shifting surfaces. I was overwhelmed. When I walked in the first room, I literally stood with my mouth open, dumbfounded, for several minutes. Monet! An artist I thought I had already comprehended in his fullness.

Wine & food. Even with the dollar in the toilet compared to the Euro, the wine was affordable and excellent. The Beaujolais Nouveau had just been released, so that was fun. We shopped in the local markets(indoor and outdoor), and ate in alot to save money. Let me say that France has the most gorgeous produce I've ever seen. I bought an exquisite looking bunch of radishes (see below)- and I don't even like radishes - because they were so lovely. I saw bunches of grapes and thought, those are the grapes that Chardin and Fantin Latour painted. Suffice it to say, we ate and drank well.


Language - My accent, if I do say so myself, is fabulous. And since I'm small with dark hair and eyes, I can pass for French if I don't get into in-depth conversations that require any, well, intelligent vocabulary. Sigh. I used to read Camus and Sartre in the original. Now I don't think I could read Tin Tin in the original. Oh well.

Finally, It was lovely to have our own flat to return to at the end of walking, seeing art, eating, drinking, (and spooning!).

Here are a few more pix. More soon!


7 comments:

more cowbell said...

Holy vache! Those photos are absolutely gorgeous, girl! So glad to hear you had a grand time of it. Your mom is a hero.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks. it was a blissful warm(ish) evening and easy to find beauty everywhere. And yes, the mother was amazing. Exhausted at the end of every day, but victorious and amazing.

Willym said...

What great photos - glad you had a good time - but then how could you have not right?

The comment you left the other day about the Monets hit the nail about what makes great art - you can revisit and revisit - be it a painting, a book, a piece of music or theatre or dance - and each time you take something away something new.

Kirk said...

Those are beautiful photos dear. You have the knack, the je ne sais quoi...

Ms. Place said...

Ah, I just left a comment on your other post. I missed the Monet exhibit, and I walked right past the L'Orangerie! Thankfully, I have seen many of Monet's waterlilly paintings in exhibits in major museums. Still, to have seen those works in such a setting would truly have been spectacular.

Elizabeth said...

Willym: Yes, I would have had to be a completely lost soul not to have had fun in Paris. Food, art, wine, family, more art. And don't you live for those moments when you perceive an artwork with real, visceral emotion? It doesn't happen easily or as often as I wish it did, but when it does, the whole world shifts.

Elizabeth said...

Kirk: you're a dear

Ms. Place: Monet himself supervised the installation of all the panels at the Orangerie. And though I've seen other panels in other places, they haven't given me, at least, the full visual/intellectual/emotional force of the series. It would be worth a trip to Paris only to see this. (But then, of course, you'd go and it would be closed, and they'd just shrug and say, "Vous voulez trop.")