Day in Paris Yields Art in the Sky, on the Wall and by the Plate
Well the food show is over so I’ve moved to a better location downtown. My new hotel is right off the Seine River, on the corner of St. Michelle and St. Germain. All I can say is wow! So this is what Paris is supposed to be like. My first day here I dropped my luggage off at the room and hit the streets.First thing, lunch! I walked about two blocks and stopped at a restaurant called Le Clous de Paris. For a beverage I ordered a pint of French ale, and for luck i ordered the classic croque Madame. It was good, real good. Basically a ham and cheese sandwich, broiled with cheese on top, finished with a fried egg. Then i set out to walk the streets of Paris for a bit. This area is filled with shops, bistros, and amazing architecture. As night drew near, I passed the only place I had seen that had a line of people waiting outside. Guess what it was: a 1960s-style diner, featuring hamburgers, fries, and shakes. I guess a good thing is good no matter where you are.
I continued on and found a place called La Cochonnaille, a little restaurant in one of the winding side streets that I had wandered into. I was not disappointed. I ordered a dark beer called Pelforth Brune, and for my meal, started with a cured meat plate that was ridiculously good. For my main course, duck confit with fried potatoes. But not just any potatoes, these were thin slices, fried in duck fat, and tossed with garlic and herbs. I’m not sure which I liked more, the duck or the potatoes. I finished my first night with a bottle of Bordeaux Rose, and got a good night’s sleep.
Today I slept in a little bit, ahhhh, then off again, this time, with a specific agenda in mind. As I set out, the first stop was the St. Michelle Fountain.Clearly a tourist destination, I stopped to snap a couple of photos. About as tall as a two story building, the fountain in the center of a square drew a lot of attention. Then I was off to see was the Museum D’Orsay. Several people I have met here recommended this stop to me, and it was nearby. It was only about a 15-minute walk, and there was much to look at along the way, so the trip was quick. When I arrived, there was line at the door, so I had to wait. Out front, there were several large statues, a rhino and a horse come to the top if my mind.
I wish I could have taken pictures inside, I got to see so many amazing things. First among them, was a special exhibit by Jean-Leon Gerome. It was filled with several rooms of his work, many of which, depicted graphic illustrations of gladiators, fighting in an arena. But then, there were halls filled with the works of Van Gogh, Renoir, Rodin, Monet, Latousse, Cezanne, Manet, and many others. It was awesome to see paintings that I had only previously heard about, like the famous Van Gogh self-portrait.
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Then on to my final destination for the day, the Eiffel Tower. It wasn’t hard to find, within about 2 miles you could see it coming. I know that everyone knows that it’s tall, that it’s big, but until you’ve stood underneath it, you really don’t know.Just looking up to the top made my stomach turn, but this was something that my son Jude had talked about with me before I came, so i was not going to back down. I took the stairs so I could take the flight up at my own leisure. Big mistake. Just getting to the first floor of this thing, was 21 flights of stairs. By the time I got there, I was done.
I crept towards the edge, snapped some photos, grabbed a few souvenirs from the gift shop, then I was out of there. While breathtaking, the view from this height was not for me.But hey, I’ve seen it now! It was cool! Very cool! And I’ve got a story I can tell my son.
So what’s up for tomorrow, the last day of my trip here? Notre Dame and the Louvre, and street food line up my agenda. I hope you’ll join me as I conclude this awesome trip
Until then, good night.