Paris Diaries: Champagne and Ruins
It wasn't until the next day that I felt healthy enough to resume the Cultural Death March. After consulting with my guide, I realized that I was only a short walk from Parc Monceau and the Musee Jacquemart Andre. I had never been to either place. My guide book had a detailed map of the park, and it seemed like it would fit in perfectly with In Ruins.
Furthermore, it wasn't fa
r from my hotel. Even though I was feeling a bit better,I didn't want to push myself too hard too fast.
If you are unconvinced of my description of the mildness of a Parisian winter, the presence of flowers in bloom in
January should be fairly compelling evidence. Even in the dead of winter, there were flowers amongst the cascading waterfalls and Belle Epoque tributes to famous writers like Guy de Maupassant.
The park was fairly empty except for a few joggers and some mothers with strollers so I could walk around and take in the colonnade and even watch the ducks that leisurely paddled their way around the pond. While it was lovely, I still preferred the Luxembourg Gardens in August.
Afterwards, I decided to head to the Musee Jacquemart Andre. According to my guidebook the museum houses paintings by Fragonard and Boucher, two of my favorite artists. Unfortunately, it was a 30 minute wait to get into the museum to see exactly 2 Bouchers. There
was, thankfully, an entire exposition of Fragonard including this painting Les Debuts du Modele. Part of the draw of the museum is that it is an 18th century home thus it adds to the overall experience of looking at 18th century art. Unfortunately many of the rooms use only natural light making the paintings difficult to see, especially during the hazy days of winter. While I enjoyed some of the paintings, I found myself disappointed and thinking that I would have enjoyed myself more if I had visited the French Masters wing at the Louvre.
On the way back to the hotel, I stopped in at a cafe which featured champagne sorbet on the menu or as the menu claimed "champagne water
ice." The waiter seemed taken aback that I would order such a thing, but brought it to the table anyway. If one can't be decadent in a cafe after strolling aroun
d Paris, well, one can't be decadent anywhere. I slowly enjoyed my champagne sorbet considering where to go next before heading out into the street for some more exploration.
As I walked, I discovered that my favorite chocolatier A Cote de France as well as Mariage Freres were only about a block from my hotel, which was either a very very good or very very
bad thing depending on how you view a gourmet spending binge. Laden with three tins of expensive tea and a small bag of chocolates, I continued walking, enjoying the windows of a few antique bookstores until I came upon an open air market on Rue Poncelet, which was a seafood lovers dream come true. There were mussels, lobster rails, King Crab legs. It almost made me wish that I had a kitchen so I could buy something and cook it.
Finally I went back to my hotel for a much needed nap before dinner. When I awoke, I sought another local restaurant still not feeling up to traveling too far. As I drank a glass of red wine, I realized that it had been about 6 years since I had broken up with anyone. I rarely leave anyone because I am particularly sensitive to rejection-even if it is my rejection of another person. But at dinner, I thought, I should do this more often-it feels alot better than the wallowing in misery after yet another asshat leaves me. I thought about how much I had wanted to go home, and how I would have missed out on all of this. Paris always teaches me something, but also I was sure that there was much more enjoyment to come.
Labels: a cote de france, boucher, fragonard, mariage freres, musee jacquemart andre, parc monceau, rue poncelet
Bad Bunni posted at 8/05/2008 01:09:00 AM