21 October 2009

Goodbye City of Love

After two and a half whirlwind weeks in Paris, it is time to say so long! Paris is such a diverse, complicated, and wonderfully busy place. Every day we experienced a new part of the city: we saw the gritty, the elegant, the silly, the far-too-serious, the moody, the jolly, the modern, the ancient, and plenty in between.

We'll miss our daily walks; our bread, cheese, and saucisson picnics on the bridges over the Seine; our steaming bowls of cafe au laits; our local fromagerie off Rue de Javel; and the smell of urine and piles of dog shit on every every street corner...mmmm, maybe not that last one.

Of course, we know there is still much much more to discover. So this is just "goodbye for now" or "a bientot" because we know we'll be back!

These three fellas used to decorate Pont Neuf (the grandest bridge over the Seine) and can now be found in the Musee Carnavalet, a fascinating museum devoted to the history of Paris located in a grand old mansion on the left bank.  

Much of the Carnavalet museum was a chronological walk through the centuries, with each room decorated in the style of a different era.  These clocks were focal pieces in many of the most elegant rooms.  Apparently the Parisians back in the day liked to keep time in high style.   

The grand ballroom in the Carnavalet.  And yet another clock! 

On our very last day in Paris, we visited the Parc de la Villette in the far north east corner of Paris.  It is the largest park in the city and the second largest green space, second to the Pere Lachaise cemetery.  It was quite an interesting place...definitely a product of the 1980s with lots of what I'm sure was at the time, cutting edge installation art, but which now looks pretty dated. 

Here are giant pieces of bike-themed modern art.  Profound, no?

We did find a little bamboo forest in the park that was very serene.  Apparently I was having a moment of deep reflection about the pieces of giant bike I had just encountered.  


Paris' version of Millenium Park's "the bean"! 

This shot is very much Paris in a nutshell with the contrast of ancient and modern -- severe and whimsical.  

On the stairway of Victor Hugo's apartment in Place des Vosges -- sporting an oh-so-French beret!

Invasion of the nuns!  Which way to church!?!?!  


A lovely scene in the tunnels of the metro...