Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paris - Day 5

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I did:

OMG. This has to be the best day ever of this trip.  Not because of what I saw but really because of how I've changed.  I can't really explain this but I'll try.   The first thing I did today was sleep in and ignore my schedule which was to be at Musee l'Organgie at 9am.  I ended up there around 9:45am.    Then I walked in there and ..something..shifted. It was slightly mind-blowing. Monet, bigger than I can imagine in 8 giant cavasses.  The museum itself was designed around these paintings.  It was Monet's gift to heal Parisians after the war. And something in my soul connected to something in his soul to something in the bigger Universe through those paintings. It sounds maybe "whoo-hoo" but I can't explain it better than that. In fact if I could put it into words, then it wasn't really a connection I suspect.  The best way I can describe this experience is that it made me think of all the building blocks of life/matter as we know it and how at an elemental level they are just basic building blocks, but when they are combined infinite ways they make something unique and beautiful. The brush strokes of the paintings seem like a random pattern but when you step back you get a sense of the feeling of the thing rather than the look of the thing. It's like Money captured the essence or soul of what he was painting.  When I die I hope I transition through something like this art gallery to whatever is on the other side. The first room is an oval white room totally empty; it's a place to decompress from the business of life and transition into the meditation of the paintings beyond. I'd like to think that death will be this lovely of a transition. 

Okay so...that's just to like 11am. I'm already blown apart inside and have the rest of the day to go.  I head over to Arc de Triomphe. (Musee Decouverte I decided to postpone to Friday as it's going to rain that day and it's not part of my museum pass which expires on Thurs -- see I can be flexible).   So again, I'm slightly clueless of what's going on and then I clue in that there are massive amounts of police in full combat uniform including shields and whatever those plastic bullet things are.  What's going on? Well I have no idea and hope open fire doesn't start before I get into the Arc.   I thought there was an elevator but it was the stairs entrance! Yikes.... 30 m later I'm at the top and much out of wind; feet screaming at me from their soreness the day before descending the Eiffel Tower.  I rest a bit in the museum and then head up to the scorching terrace. The view is magnificent.  I can see the Defense Arc. Wow it's huge - Notre Dame can fit in there they say.   Paris is surely a mix of beautiful things from the classical Arc de Triomphe to the modern Defense Arc.  And both totally inline with each other down the Champs d'Elysees.

After this, I head to Georges Pompidou. Spontaneously I decide to jump out at Hotel de Ville and see what that's about .    I end up in a big mall and well what can I do.  I have to go shopping.  An hour later I walk to the Pompidou.  I don't spend too long here, it's easy to see what I like vs. what seems like utter nonsense art to me. But it is food for the mind and soul in many ways. Art can be have so many's amazing.

Now I'm totally done. I head back to the hotel, stop for beer and pizza, and a macaroon.  At about 4:30pm I eat these in bed , have a bath and fall asleep.

When I wake it's 7pm and about 8pm when I get ready and leave. I can so get use to this doing what I want whenever I want thing.  Actually not really. One thing about being alone in Paris it makes me see that I have such a full life with my family; I do miss them and just knowing I have them to go back to makes me able to enjoy this trip the more.  This trip would not be fun if I didn't know where and to whom I was going back to at the end of the week. Plus Algonquin in next weekend!!! How exciting is that. back to Paris:

 I have some general idea of walking around the Latin Quarter tongiht , maybe taking a Seine sightseeing tour, and checking out this Jazz club I saw in the guide for dinner. I get off at St. Michel metro and walk around; I see Jardins Luxembourg and the Sorbonne!!! I stop for a picture, which a waiter took and before I know it two other waiters jump in and kiss me in the photo (on the cheek). Wow. These are the friendliest waiters in Paris so far. So far they have been rather "abrupt".  Maybe it's the cute shoes.  

I find the Jazz club around 9pm and the dinner and show are all in one price of 50 Euros. I decide to stay. What  a great decision !!  The band was a quintet - tuba, banjo, sax, trumpet and drums. They were joined by other musicians  - trombone and another banjo throughout the night.  It was in a basement and I could just imagine the jazz being played here through the wars and depression over the last 100 years.  Did people back then have more fun than we do? I wonder.  Life was harder, but maybe they lived life more.

I tapped away the whole evening , it was such great fun. If I have an inner child still, well she came out to keep me company tonight.  After the show, they band took a break and asked me to have a drink with them. After that they went back and played more...the best yet. I basically stayed until closing.   I took tons of video ; they did so many solos. The drum solo I want to show Sophia -- she'll like that ; the drummer did some cool things with the cymbals.

So it's 2am now...I am not feeling tired whatsover..but tomorrow will be rough.  So going to bed soon.

What I ate:

croissant, cafe au lait, orange juice
apple for snack
pizza & Kronenberg  beer & macaroon - lunch
quail with fois gras entree, duck leg with potatoes main, creme brulee; wine - sauvigion blanc and champagne at the end.

Lessons Learned

Go with your gut when it comes to making decisions. I was thinking of going to the Louvre again tonight, and maybe a Seine boat tour, but the Latin Quarter seemed like more fun. It was.

I've never bought the audio guide at the museums or galleries and I don't regret it. I want to experience these works quietly and in my own way; not with some person talking in my ear. It's not about educating my self, or understanding the works's really about experiencing them and taking that quiet moment of stillness to feel what the artist is trying to convey. I can't imagine doing this if someone is talking to me. 

Wearing cute shoes is totally worth it, even if you can't walk a lot.

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