Friday, February 24, 2012

If I were in Paris... Friday, February 24, 2012

The temperatures hover in the 50s and the sky is overcast... it's still officially wintery in Paris.

Les Arts Decoratifs--one of my favorite museums, for obvious reasons, is holding an exhibit on Jean-Pul Goude, called "Goudelamion." I don't know Goude, but any exhibition that includes images, television, film, photography, and pop culture (to put it crudely) sounds promising. Goude is apparently a stylemaker, a stylist of images in advertising, music, and culture. Cool, man. The exhibition inclues material from 40 years of his work (check out the Diaporama).

The same museum just opened an exhibition on "Trompe-l'oeil" which I would definitely find fascinating. "Trompe-l'oeil" refers to images or illusions meant to fool the eye in one way or another: to create a 3-D image in a 2-D space, for example. I love it from the Baroque, especially, when the art of illusion was meant to fool the eye and please the mind, in paintings, murals, architecture, etc. The Diaporama shows the pieces of the exhibition, plus a little about them.

Trompe-l'oeil in action

After that, stroll up the Avenue de l'Opera to the Opera Garnier and see their exhibit on Massenet, the great 19th-century composer. 2012 is the centennial of his death, and through mid-May, the exhibit celebrates the composer's life and work, which were extremely popular in Belle Epoque France.

Then, because you should, go across to the Galeries Lafayette and have a light snack or lunch in their cafe, overlooking the rear of the Opera Garnier (I know I've mentioned this eatery before!). The food is relatively inexpensive, the food is well-cooked and the choice is staggering (even for fussy teens), and the view is breathtaking. Go upstairs to the outside viewing deck before you eat and photograph the city--then come back downstairs and relax for a little bit. I eat here consistently because of the food, the prices, the view, and--afterwards--the chance to buy souvenirs in the G-L couveinir stores. They sell Kumi tea, excellent t-shirts, jewelry, and all sorts of trinkets for friends, family, and loved ones who don't need the regular souvenir fare, but something that won't break the bank, is fun, and discreetly screams "Paris." I've bought myself and others inexpensive charm bracelets with the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and other little silvery charms; the bracelets are cute and classy but obviously not Tiffany's. Perfect!

Over the weekend, there is something that might be quite delightful. On Sunday, the Theatre des Champs-Elysees is performing Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette, a "dramatic symphony" with 3 actors singing the roles of the play to Berlioz's composition. With the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the BBC Symphony Chorus and the Schuola Cantorum of Oxford.

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