Friday, July 8, 2011

If I was in Paris... July 8, 2011

Obviously, I would be preparing for July 14, France's day of independence. Oh, and watching the Tour de France avidly.

Today I would go to the Theatre du Chatelet and buy a ticket to see the Miami City Ballet, the company run by Edward Villella, in Paris. Or, if tickets were sold out there, to FNAC and snag a standing room place. Oh, yes. This is one of the best ballet companies in the US, and they are makign their Paris premiere. Oh, delight! I would of course hope to see something by Twyla Tharp, who has created several ballets just for them.

Interestingly, I might go see a small exhibition at the Fondation Cartier, on voodoo, from a private collection. "Vaudau," the French word, focuses on African voodoo, and here is a site where you can preview (or view, if you won't be in Paris) the flavor of the works. All I can say is, wow--the photos look amazing. The foundation is at 261 Blvd. Raspail, in the 14th, not far from where I stayed during the summer of 1999.

Not too far away, the Gobelins factory--the Manufacture des Gobelins--the great home of tapestries and rugs from the days of Louis XIV onward--has opened for its 400th anniversary. There is a sizable exhibition of period as well as contemporary pieces on view.

Not a very lively day, but frankly, this is the perfect weather (rainy!) for shopping and for sightseeing. Go early to all monuments--most open between 9 am and 10 am, so plan for a breakfast stop at a cafe nearby and then standing in line... This holds true for the Eiffel Tower, the climb up Notre Dame's bell towers, the Louvre, and probably the Musee D'Orsay. To avoid crowds, go to smaller museums, like the Zadkine, or less famous ones, like the Musee du Quai Branly. same with cathedrals.

Since it is raining, I say go shopping, whether at Galleries Lafayette (stop in the top floor cafe for lunch) or Bon Marche. Everything in Paris is on sale!

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