Friday, January 27, 2012

If I were in Paris... January 27, 2012

And I sooo wish I was in Paris: things in my department are coming to resemble Louis XIV's France.

If I was in Paris today--where the weather is rainy and cold--I think to cheer myself up I would do some things I really, really love. Some of my favorite Paris things, to remind myself of what a beautiful and wonderful city it is.

First, I'd catch breakfast in one of the cafes at the eastern end of Ile de la Cite, to watch the sun rise. If I was lucky and woke early, I'd walk along there via Ile St. Louis, up the central street, and enjoy window shopping or simply the quiet, 18th-century buildings. After coffee and a croissant, I'd proceed to Notre Dame, walking through the gardens behind the catherdral to the central plaza, and go inside to light a candle at the feet of Jeanne d'Arc. This early, the statue might not be so crowded with people taking flash pictures.

Then I'd head towards the Musee D'Orsay and, once inside, climb right up the the third floor, from the southweatern staircase to see the Impressionists: Van Gogh, Caillebotte, Manet, Monet, Degas. I'd see the paintings and then the smaller, dark rooms with the pastels.

Musee d'Orsay cafe
 I'd cross the Seine to check out the bookstores on Rue de Rivoli, including the gardening bookstore in the western gates of the Tuileries, then sit and read in the gardens, probably by the western pool (unless it was really both rainy and cold, in which case--no). If it is rainy and cold, I'd look at the gardens, wave, and proceed up to Avenue de l'Opera and one of my favorite cafes there for lunch, sit and read and eat there while watching Parisians and tourists pass.

After lunch, I'd head for the Galeries Lafeyette, where I could pick up wonderful souvenirs for everyone, including myself, in their two in-house shops for that kind of thing, then have another after-lunch coffee while staring out at the backend of the Opera Garnier.

Then I would proceed to the area of the Arc de Triomphe, where my yoga teacher, Julie Platus, gives 90-minute classes in her studio/home. After a delightful class, emerging stretched, relaxed, and energized, I would head up to Sacre Coeur to get a final look at the city as the sun goes down. I'd like another candle at the feet of Jeanne D'Arc, and head home on the Metro for a simple, filling bowl of lentil soup and a chunk of good crusty French bread.

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