Paris in 2011

Paris Travel Blog

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Paris is lovely. The end.

Paris is cold, wet and foggy in February.  I wonder if Parisians view the gloomy days of Winter as lovely as a fabulous Summer? The parks are roomy, the lines to the museums under a few meters long, people speaking French, the cafes have open tables to sit at, the stress level near zero. On a Sunday, I walked along the Seine River from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower with the amount of people one sees  in small city USA.  Quite manageable. In contrast, during the Paris Summer, the city is over the top with tourist from all over the world and their days are filled: tour buses, lines stand for seat in cafes, parks where a bird can’t walk, museums 5 deep per paintings and times printed on tickets for just entering, the masses assemble along  pathways of the Seine to visit museums that dot the sides for 1 mile.

  I don’t think I would enjoy the city so much. Perhaps I had such a wonderful experience with Parisians because of the not so lovely Winter. Contrary to what one hears in the states, the people are nice, helpful  and as we expect- much better dressed.  Funny, whenever I saw a poorly  dressed - she was speaking English.  I definitely felt like a tourist in what was my best shirt and pants from my backpack.  I guess if we are to be globalized, the styles of Paris will always set the people apart from the rest. Fashion is definitely a way of keeping ones culture and the French do it better than any other Western country.

Couch surfed a week in Paris, last week with the car too (she is sold!). The car I parked. Couch surfing is nice, I meet lovely strangers.

The job of the guest is to entertain the host, kinda the same as hitch hiking. You get in the car and you are on stage to make light hearted good conversation that the driver can understand and enjoy. Same same.  One hopes that a host may be a night club owner, or other cool occupations that help you enjoy the city but generally speaking, it is a business man who wants to brush up on his Western English.  I couch surfed with two men- psst... did you know all French men describe themselves as bisexual?  No qualms here, couches fit only one but it is odd.  Not in a bad or good way, just odd.  Why are all French men bi sexual? For this I went to a clinical nurse and asked,’ Why are all French men…. ‘ The response was, I will paraphrase,  ‘The stinky cheese.
The French men love of stinky cheese affect their desire for women’s ….., therefore this lack of desire for sexual intercourse with woman, the impossibility of sex with chesse , thus raising the tendency for male bonding.’   As for me, I hate stinky cheese, love white chocolate and drink instant coffee. These are all French taboo! It is safe to say I am less cultured. The palm reader told me that. I will meet a lovely woman in the future and be successful, we will have no children. Oh what news bringith this lovely bird! I love Paris!

Oh oh, I didn’t capitalize again on another situation cause I was exhausted from museums and was thinking of the Crying Game. I like to analysis what went wrong with every woman I miss.

  Kinda like a baseball player analyzing his swing. To be fair, I was retired from the game of love for near 8 years, add another of mopping, not hoping for a great comeback at 42. This beautiful woman sat next to me,  I actually fell asleep on the train humming the Crying Game song. She came in the door, light skinned, tall beautiful Black woman with a beautiful wide smile and eyes. Our eyes met and were glued to each other the 4 steps it took her from the door to the seat next to mine. I can’t speak French but I mulled the idea of trying, I woke up maybe 5 minutes and she gave me this lovely up close smile, my little tail was wagging, but again I am guilty of no closing statement. Ugh,the only words spoken were au revoir  as I got up and left.
She returned it and I suck as a human being. Actually it was a little worst, so I I said au revoir, and she au revoir, then I stood up the train stopped abruptly and I flew into her.  I am more than slightly a cluster fuck when it comes to coordination.  

During the weekend, the best of the flea market is located in the South and the Antique market in the north. It takes a complete day from 9am to 5pm and it is way too expensive!!!  If your American but nothing from France, buy it in the states- much cheaper.  I found these Victorian 18th C beads I was told. 220 euro to 180, 150, 120 euro to last price 110 euro. I haven’t seen the finished product but it appears the same on ebay roughly $43. Hmmm, I did buy a Chinese scroll very beautiful and old then African leather bags.

None were a particular deal but I hadn’t bought anything of any value on the trip so I felt I should find something to buy.

Paris has so many “the largest display of…” museums. The Lourve Museum, if you want to see the most famous of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Western Artist to circa 1850. It is huge. Literally the ground floor feels like an American Mall. From the top of the glass pyramid looking down the focal point is the tourist info desk and then tickets are bought around little kiosks that are near the arms of this giant. The giant has 6 arms.  From this vantage point, the children are like fleas milling around. If you have kids, under 18 or 25 it is free. So all the schools of France take the kids to the Louvre.

  The kids are generally well mannered which is a relief. It can seem like a wave of children around the more known art.  After the kids left the Venus de Milo, the efficient Chinese tour groups amass to photo and then the others.  I think it is amazingly wonderful to see Chinese tour groups, did you know there are a billion Chinese.  I can’t believe how quick things got better in China since 1999.  The Lourve is kinda overpowering, after the 30th corridor spanning another 50 of the worlds greatest art works , it just starts to meld together. For me, the thing about religious art, or war  art (any difference?), similar to movies or pop music after it becomes… popular? Maybe  “redundant” is better, even though the artist is expressing himself, it is the same hero scene or St.
Jerome or for gods sake kill me now- Mary or Jesus.  I attest this to the fact there are damn good artist sitting up easels everyday in every museum copying art and this is not a 20th C creation. (They don’t do this with impressionism, too difficult? Hint to start) I asked a cat how long it takes to copy a painting- 2 week, great Western masterpieces of the world perhaps it is infinite. All subjective I guess, but once upon a time there was an original but since has been copied a thousand times thus thousands of masterpieces per se are created or deviated of. And so we can fill the worlds museums with thousands of St Jerome.

The Musee Orsay is like Impressionism and post impressionism heaven. All so yummy!! The art too. Is one a strange to try a museum pick up? I know women go there to enjoy the art, I guess it is more presentable than speed dating.

So it is true… after stalking her for half the museum… I am kidding!! We both enjoyed the Cézanne and Van Gogh exhibit , at one time the boys roomed together as Van Gogh was trying to start his own commune of artist. Our eyes met a few times as we both circled the exhibit hall and so I started a conversation. We talked on the couch for 30 minutes and it was cool. That is the bad thing about traveling, I will never think I am wasting time with a beautiful woman but it is inevitable that this too shall pass so I usually say good bye earlier than I would like.  The Orsay is my favorite western art museum.

Of the others Paris is an incredible of lesser museums too. For example I like Buddhist art- the worlds largest collection according to the audiophile is the Guimet Musee.

Buddhist art and the colonial days are in no way coincidental.  Lovely as it is, there is no way on earth this could be done today. Fortunately, France raided thus preserved Art in the 18th and 19th C.  Another area France was colonizing in the 19th C is Polynesian Islands and Africa, hence the worlds largest collection of Primitive Art, the  Quai Branly Musee. As my pics go, I was getting sick of the Western Art pre 19th c.

Last to discuss is the massive buildings. My god, comparatively the brownstones of old Chicago would be an appetizer to these massive giants. I think any building in Paris could eat 15 brownstones and still be hungry. It would be as if the folks in the hotels on a Monopoly board looked out the windows and saw the human players.

I don’t know if I consider this architecture.  There is some neat new buildings but generally these heavy 17th-18th C buildings reminded me of blocks stacked and ornamented. A sincere lack of imagination. Lastly….

I took the car to England and am waiting for some stuff from the states. I am helping my buddy Justin in his building business, I am a gofer, able to sweep, and clean, I can do simple sawing, nail up and hang a gutter, climb a ladder after that I am pretty useless.  I sold the car to Justins dad. Bless him for buying it. The car is convenient x ten, but a drain. I worked it out that the car is 20% higher than buses, the stress of street parking- it isn’t worth it. I love the freedom of backpacking and need to build muscles again.

Justins wife, Victoria, her mother loves the same stuff I do, she is such a trooper she is going to map out my English route for me.  Justins kids, first time here were warming up to me but now they are wonderful. English vocabulary lessons are going well.

emmllerg says:
Enjoy your next vacation to Paris
Posted on: Jun 02, 2013
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photo by: Sweetski