26.11.2014 - 04.12.2014 38 °F
OK, just a few cool things to wrap up a most excellent 10 days (!) In Paris.
First a note about lily gilding. I did happen by chance to wander over to the Champs Elysees in the evening when I heard the Mozart Requiem (last blog) and got a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. Let's compare and constrast. One thing I didn't mention about the Louis Vuitton museum was a special feature that Frank Gehry incorporated - a 'secret spot' where you get a nice view of the Eiffel Tower. It is cool how the Tower seems to pop up in unexpected places as you wander around Paris and it's great that Gehry honors that. On the other hand, at the Champs I had a 'really?' moment. For some reason they have decided that the Eiffel Tower needed a big rotating searchlight in case you might not notice it! Come on, people....
And while I'm ranting, here's another thing. Do we really need a great big lit up Christmas tree smack dab in front of the Cathedral de Notre Dame? What an annoyance. I did think the picture on the right of the tree reflected in the window of an apartment across the street was kind of cool though.
And while I'm on a roll - YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!
I calmed myself down a bit with a splurge dinner at a hip Paris Bistro, the Clown Bar. I was lucky that there was exactly one bar stool and I was able to nab it; otherwise reservations are absolutely essential. I had a delicious oyster stew and panko crusted cheese croquettes with a 'Chardonnay Nature'. Minimally processed, unfiltered wines are the current big thing. I thought it was tasty and a good drink but lacking the kind of nose that you get from a good well-made wine. Worth a try, though - the brand is 'French Wine is Not Dead' if you want to check some out (really!). I followed this with a duck breast in brioche with a delicious Languedoc. Yeah, they sure can cook.
I did run back to the Cite des Sciences et de la Industrie to look at one of the age-appropriate areas that required special permission to enter. Well, it's kind of hard to tell from the pictures but the area for the 7-12 crowd is enormous like the rest of the museum and very resource-rich, including paid staff demonstraters everywhere. Here are a few shots.
On the way home in the evening I spotted another clever urban planning feature - a light rail line that has grass rails. Looks quite cool!
Well, that really is enough about Paris - almost. I had a suit and shirts made in Thailand and I had bought a beautiful new tie at the Korea National Museum, so I figured I had better strut my stuff at least once on the trip. So I bought a ticket to the Paris Opera production of La Boehme (how much was the ticket? Don't ask! How good was the performance? Wonderful - including some magnificent sets!). Here's an exterior of the new Paris Opera house in the Bastille district and a shot of yours truly trying to show style.
And finally just to bring things back to Earth - Go Lugs!
Merci d'avoir Paris!