January 3, 2011

Paris

Metro

I had four good days in Paris. Here were my favorite Parisian moments:

– Black: When we boarded the metro in Paris, every single person on our crowded train wore black. It was like a parody of Paris fashion. With the exception of a couple white scarves and a gray coat here and there, everyone was clad in black from head to toe. After the initial shock, I noticed many clothing stores, racks filled with black and only black. In Amsterdam women wore tweedy skirts, tights and boots. In Paris, women work skinny black slacks and point black boots, all sleek and monotone.

– Art Nouveau:In addition to the fabulous No. 29 Avenue Rapp building, the Art Nouveau wing of the Musee d’Orsay, filled with nouveau furniture, made me itch to get back to furniture making. The furniture had a whimsy and simplicity of form that I would like to try to capture.

– Language: In our little neighborhood of Paris, hardly any shop keepers spoke English at all. I visited an Italian deli for take-out. The proprietor started with French, I asked for English, he came back with Italian, I settled for Spanish. It was tricky, but I ended up with a fantastic vegetarian lasagna, marinated mushrooms and a mozzarella tomato salad. Yum!

– Eiffel Tower: It is such an icon of Paris and yet for all the photos I’ve seen of it, I still found it compelling. I loved the finer details of the metal work and the great, side slanting elevators.

– Cousins: SB’s cousin lives in Paris with her husband and three children. They invited us over for a driving tour of the city and a home-cooked meal. It was so much fun to see their home and be taught some lessons in cultural differences between Americans and French. For instance, Emeric (14), told me that while I may think it is polite to keep my hands in my lap when at the table, in France, it is most polite to keep your hands in plain view, with your forearms resting on the edge of the table. Arnaud, the husband, gave me a tour of some “uncooked” cheeses of Normandy. William (10), presented SB and I with bird drawings. See below.

William's Owl

1 Comment

  1. The owl is so adorable. He he quite a good artist. I noticed he has your name on it. How sweet!

    Comment by Carol — January 3, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

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