Monday, April 29, 2013

Paris- The second time around

Our recent week in Paris was a lot of fun. We found ourselves more relaxed and willing to not over-schedule our days. Our first time there we visited multiple museums and cathedrals...did all of the things you think you need to do in case you don't make it back.  Well, thankfully, we were able to return and enjoy the city differently. Here are a few of my favorites.

 Rodin Museum

A wonderful, smallish museum, easy to navigate. The grounds are spectacular and it was a thrill to see Rodin's sculpture in such a beautiful setting.

Beautiful grounds are home to wonderful Rodin sculpture

The students were learning to draw hands

Charming note left on a bench in the gardens

Patrons leave their museum stickers on the pole as they leave

Nation Metro

I'm married to an engineer who specializes in light rail projects.  Everywhere we travel, we ride the trains and subways. Paris has an excellent subway system, and each station has its own personality. The yellow and orange panels at the Nation station made me smile.

Nation Metro station- so very cool

Art Nouveau

Rue Saint Paul

Carl did some research before we left and wanted to look for a small shop that specialized in photographs. Although the shop was closed, we found ourselves on a charming street full of small boutiques and restaurants. This was one of my favorite afternoons.

In Paris, even the signs are beautiful

This lovely straw hat was spinning in the breeze like a whirligig

Joierie- French Bakelite is one of my favorites

Marche Dauphine- The French flea market

Our last time in Paris, we arrived at the flea market way too early. No one had even set up yet. So we moved on to another adventure and never made it back. Clearly, this was on my "must do" list.  We arrived around 11am and began strolling through the stalls. I had no idea how spread out the markets were and how much amazing antiques, clothes, furniture, and architectural salvage there would be. I had been looking forward to taking photos but  all afternoon long I heard "No photos, Madame!" Kind of disappointing and seems foolish to keep people from an enjoyable pastime. My only purchase was a vintage magazine ad for Cote d'Azur silk pajamas that I will frame and hang in my studio.

Loved the artist's pallete

Day trip to Giverny

We had heard from friends that this was a wonderful way to get out of the city for a day and they were right. Monet's home was a joy to visit- I shall never forget the bright yellow kitchen!  The gardens were in bloom with some flowers just getting ready to pop open.  A lovely day to relax in breathe in the beauty.
Carl took this photo of me at Monet's green bridge
Lily pond

Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise

What is it about cemeteries? We like them.  There is solitude and majesty in the ancient tombs and gravesitesThe years have deposited beautiful moss and aging to the stone. The cobblestone streets allow you to slow your walking. We were blessed with a beautiful blue sky and light breezes. 

A lucky capture as the raven takes wing

The moss...
Beautiful porcelain roses

Some grave sites were grand and some more humble

La Defense Corporate Park

Why visit a corporate park in Paris?  Why not? When you're surrounded by ancient and grand architecture for days, why not visit this vast, modern complex? Seemed like a good idea and it was. I especially loved all the public art and open space. This was a whole different Paris.

La Grande Arche

One of Alexander's Calder's signature sculptures
César Baldaccini's iconic sculpture of a 40 foot thumb- La Pouce

Big open spaces with a lot of public art

Seine River cruise

I'm not sure how we missed this outing on our first time in Paris. It really allowed for a completely different perspective of the city.  I've always loved bridges and found myself taking way too many photographs.  But I'm glad I did because I found that when we turned around and came back the lighting was completely different under the same bridges. The Eiffel Tower really towers over you when you see it from the Seine.

Loved the green seats

A different view of La Tour Eiffel

Pont Notre Dame

Pont Neuf
Pont Au Double- my favorite bridge in Paris

Dinner at Hotel Thoumieux

Yes, the food is good in Paris but it's not my favorite style of cooking. Our first night we had dinner at a Pakistani restaurant near our timeshare in Ile de France. That was my second favorite meal. My favorite was at  Hotel Thoumieux, a hot spot for locals.  The first time we tried to get in, they said there would be an hour and a half wait. We went back the next night and treated ourselves to a lovely meal in beautiful surroundings.

The restaurant was lined with books and art

I started with the exquisite beef tartare

Perusing the dessert menu

Strolling Rue Saint Honore

I love to window shop. I love to take pictures of windows. So, strolling Rue Saint Honore was the icing on the cake for me.  The window displays are so eye catching and thoughtfully designed. This was one of the few times I didn't put my camera away between photos.  It was about 7 PM...nearing the magic hour for light, but also the time that the stores close. Unfortunately, by the time we got to Hermes, the doors were locked and I wasn't able to look at all of their scarves. Next time! 
Orange, pink and yellow roses took my breath away
Sculptural red dress by John Galliano
A giant sardine tin holds a pair of Louboutin heels

Spring dresses at Chloe

Obligatory shots of Paris.  I couldn't help myself.

Under the tower at dusk

Carl mentioned about a million times the number of optical shops in Paris.

When in Paris, wear black

We were always looking for the sortie

La Tour Eiffel at dusk

Restaurant Le Consulat in Montmarte

Staircase at Montmarte

Do you know how long I waited for this flag to unfurl? A long time.

The love locks

Hôtel National des Invalides

Yup, he's always thinking

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