Even the cats are well dressed here.
A rare Mr. MPCC sighting in the wild.
Obligatory shot of the pregnant woman stuffing her face with Pierre Herme macraons.
Our recent babymoon to Paris was our most relaxing visit to the city of lights ever. Maybe it was all the hormones? I didn't feel the need to over book our agenda, as is often the case. We slept in until 11:00 every day, an indulgence I NEVER do, being the quintessential morning person.
My husband's only requirement? Stay on budget. With bebe on the way, and a nursery to furnish, there was no room for Michelin starred dining. Seriously, he said if there was a Michelin star involved he wasn't interested.
Though, excellent food for a good price, is not hard to come by in Paris (stay tuned for a follow up post on where we dined;), and we indulged, indulged, indulged. Our relaxed itinerary included an afternoon gouter of macarons daily.
So what did we do? Took in the sites, walked around the city, and visited new neighborhoods and exhibits.
First up was the Musee de Cluny, right up the street from our hotel in the Latin Quarter. It is devoted to the middle ages (medieval studies minors unite!). Probably most renowned for the lady and the unicorn tapestries, which were sadly on loan for an exhibition during a renovation of the space, though there was still plenty to see. Formerly the townhouse of the abbots of cluny, the site shares space with the remains of gallo-roman baths from the third century, along with impressive collections of sculpture, and artifacts from the time.
From there, we strolled across the seine, through the madness that is Notre Dame, and on to the Hotel de Ville, to the exhibit Paris Haute Couture (pictures below). Yes, even husband was impressed with haute couture fashion from Parisian houses past and present- Dior, Cardin, Balenciaga to name a few. All decadent, ornate, and a feast for the eyes. They often paired and juxtaposed pieces from the past with present day examples, showing how designers often draw inspiration from each other through the years. What goes around truly does come around. Best of all, the exhibit was free...if you have the patience to wait in line! Tourists and locals alike are always eager to take in these exhibits so plan ahead with passes or be prepared to wait a bit.
The following day, husband and I changed things up with an outing to the Centre Pompidou, which neither of us had ever visited. For shame! A rare appearance by Mr. MPChouChou (above) in front of Calder's 'Horizontal' sculpture, which stands permanently outside the 'inside out' building. Love or hate the design, it has seen over 180 million visitors since its opening in 1977. Housing works from Picasso, and Kandinsky, to Warhol, and everything in between, it is a lot to take in with only one visit. Much like the Louvre, we will have to go back and make sure we take the rest of it in. Frankly, there is also only so much modern I can absorb in one dose. From there, we strolled through the Marais, surely the most bustling area on a Sunday (when many spots can be closed). For all our trips to France, we had never been to the neighborhood. Sadly, Merci was closed, yet another reason to justify a return visit.
On our final morning, we had just enough time to walk through the Jardin du Luxembourg, to Musee du Luxembourg for the Chagall exhibit: Between War and Peace. Chagall lived to be nearly 100, saw revolution, two wars, and a few exiles, documenting via his art all the while. Opening with the first wold war, the exhibition covers four key periods in Chagall's life- Russia in war, between the world wars, exile in the United States, and his return to France. Chagall's style is dreamy, full of allegory, but mainly pretty haunting when presented within the context of so much war. Shorter lines, followed by a reward post exhibit- a chocolat chaud at Angelina right outside the gallery, made for a delightful morning before hitting the airport.
Everywhere in between, the glorious sites of the city....with picture perfect buildings and landmarks nestled in between and on every corner. My favourite past time is marking the street art. I find at least one offering from Mr. Chat with every visit (half French, half Swiss, goes by Thomas Vuille by day), along with new, beautiful, countless others. Most impressive was this abstract feline a top Julien in the Marais, done entirely with chalk. Imagine the time and effort....for something that could easily wash away in the rain? Some of the best exhibits, all around you and free. I searched in vain for work of an anonymous (below) artist, who goes to bourgeoisie neighborhoods, letting them now just how much a square meter costs there.
Have you seen any good exhibits lately?
Back to Boston, last weekend was free at the MFA, happy to report attendence records were broken! Husband and I are waiting to take in Samurai soon, heard fabulous things about it- anyone have a report for me?
Images: Mairie de paris Paris Haute Couture