Friday, November 9, 2012

Paris Oct 21, 2012

The last leg of our trip was in Paris, city of loooove.

On our first night we had to stop at the Tour d' Eiffel and when we emerged from the station and walked the few minutes toward it, our breaths just lodged our throats. There is sat, all tall and commanding and I just gawked awkwardly, amazed, like it was my first time seeing someone eat fire.

We then started our tourist routine, click click click click about a million times. I'm fairly proud of how we exploited our tourist status, because we were fast on our feet so as not to obstruct traffic or locals and fast with our cameras, taking the necessary pictures then moving on!

We got up lazy and late the next morning, with only 3 minutes remaining for breakfast. This was the moment I've been training for, all those years of running. I made it downstairs with about 1.2 minutes to spare, grabbed about 4 mini croissants that had just come out of the oven, some yogurt, and two cups of strong coffee.

We set off to Musee du Louvre and dove right into the art.

The painting on the right depicts the Roman ruins with people and animals going about their business. I'm not an art connoisseur but boy do I like this painting. The creatures are all proportional so my eyes and brain are not trying to adjust and the scene is almost pastoral, which of course is awesome. Did I mention I wanted to become a farmer one day?

On the left is a still life painting of fruits and veggies from around 1600s by Samuel Hoffman. Perhaps set out for the chef to cook up a delicious meal. But I think the chef must be late because those veggies back there are wilting a bit. Or Hoffman is taking longer than the veggies can stand. (Well, kudos to him for making them so life-like)
There are plump and fresh cherries, some apricots and figs and plums and..... are those gooseberries? cranberries? goji berries?
At the front appears to be some celery and in the bucket asparagus, chard.... kale? I wonder how they prepared their food and how it tasted back then.....

On the right is a rather famous painting by unknown artist from the school of Fontainebleau, which was like a group of artists during the late 1500s-early 1600s that pumped out lots of scultures, paintings, and other art for the Fontainebleau royalty.

So why is there this nipple pinching action? The pinched is Gabrielle d'Estrees, mistress of King Henry the 4th, being pinched by her sister. The pinching represents that Gabrielle is with child. And because Gabby is hold one of Henry's rings, the child is probably going to have half his chromosomes. The maid at the back is preparing for the child and the painting on the mantle represents fertility although I just see some abs and legs, which could also mean he's enjoying his comfortable silky bed. Buck-naked.

Oh how I love art.

L'astronome on the left by Johannes Vermeer is another famous painting (but I think he's more known for his "Girl with a Pearl Earring", thank you Scarlett Johansson) which I also really really like because this astronomer looks a bit plump as if he spends most of his time physically idle, contemplating the world, the universe. His hair is ill-kept (am I being too presumptuous? maybe that was the style back then) and there are ruffled papers on his desk.
The books above the shelf, the chart, the globe shows that he must be a brainiac and probably just realized the meaning of life. Or maybe where he should go for dinner.

Above is a beeeaaautiful chess set probably for royalty. My inept french can only translate ".... of Saint Louis..... crystal.... ceder wood,..... money..... bronze". Notice how within each square there are small figurines acting out a scene. Playing on this set and not become distracted with the set itself would probably be an ultimate test of skill.  

Also at the Louvre were pieces from Napoleon's house, plush and velvet-like chairs and tables and tapestries for his entertaining area complete with harpsichord and the grand dining area.

Exhausted from what seemed to be a 10 mile hike, we chose to splurge at Angelina, the museum's classy cafe.

The chocolate eclair was decadent. So very worth the 7.5 euros and perfect with their dark coffee.

While I was writing this post, I came across another Parisian post by Not Quite Nigella: THIS IS ANOTHER PARIS I HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN!!!!

That's it, I'll have to go back to France and do it right. ;)