I know that many of you are just gutted that you cannot be here with us in Paris as we wander through the endless museums on offer.
So, always mindful of my audience, I thought I would take this opportunity to give you a vicarious taste of today's visits to the Orangerie and Musee d'Orsay. As you know, these museums are where some of the best Impressionist works can be found.
The Orangerie mainly exists to house the massive Water Lilies paintings by Monet. In two oval rooms, you are surrounded first by water lilies in the morning, then water lilies in the evening, enhanced by daylight from skylights far overhead, filtered through vellum canopies. I don't remember whether this setup existed when I was there last; certainly I don't remember the music that they pipe in to accompany your viewing experience:
Because we were there so early, there were hardly any people. When I was there last, there were so many people crowding the rooms that I could hardly see -- let alone appreciate -- the paintings.
(Note: there doesn't seem to be any "off-season" for tourists in Paris. No matter where we go, there are tourists jamming everything -- especially at the Louvre, Notre Dame, and, no surprise, the Eiffel Tower. This is exacerbated by the fact that it appears to be mid-term break in many schools, and Paris seems to be the place to drag the kiddies if you're a European parent.)
We spent a good long time in the Musee d'Orsay, but we haven't downloaded the photos from the good camera yet, and besides, you've probably seen most of the notable works that are there if you've taken any kind of art history classes in school. What you probably haven't seen are these shadow-puppets from the "Black Cat Cabaret" that was started at the turn of the century by a group of artists and writers who liked to create improv puppet-shows with topical subject matter -- kind of the SNL of their time, I guess.
We headed home relatively early (last night we stayed out late because the Louvre was open until 10) to buy some groceries and cook dinner (to be fair, David did the cooking) in the little apartment we're renting for the week in Montmartre. While dinner was in an in-between stage, David decided he wanted to be interviewed about his impressions of Paris:
He may come off as jaded, but he still conceded to a romantic moment under the Eiffel Tower the other night -- and I even had a cold!