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Showing posts with the label Paris

Notre Dame de Paris (after April 15, 2019)

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I was traveling in southern France when I heard of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral from my cousin in the U.S.  I turned on the television to verify the news as I didn't believe her. And the news wasn't good. Notre Dame was burning and I saw how the spire toppled, weakened by the fire that rose up into the sky. It was heartbreaking to watch. Thousands of people were singing and praying in the streets of Paris as the fire continued to raze Notre Dame into the night. 
A special mass and prayer service was held at the Notre Dame in Nice the following day as it was in many churches across France. It was a prayer of faith and hope for the restoration of one of the most loved churches in the world.
When I returned to Paris after a couple weeks of exploration, I went to the Cathedral and was relieved to see that the twin towers were unscathed as was the rose window. This view of  a spireless Notre Dame is from the Left Bank.
Behind the rose window, a hint of the extensive damage to the…

Les Nabis and the Decorative Arts

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At the recently concluded exhibition, Les Nabis et Le Décor, decorative works by the Nabi group of artists including Maurice Denis, Bonnard, Vuillard, Sérusier, Ranson and Vallotton, were on display at the Musée Luxembourg in Paris. These works of art were intended for “contemporary interiors in reaction against the aesthetics of historical pastiche that were in vogue at the end of the 19th century”.

The painting above, Arabesque Poétique ou L’Echelle dans le feuillage, is by Maurice Denis from 1892.


This wool tapestry is entitled, La Baigneuse ou La Vague. It is the work of Aristide Maillol during the period 1896-1899.

There are Japanese influences in the decorative works of the Nabis as shown on this screen, Passage Vallonné by Marguerite Sérusier from 1910. The Japanese ukiyo-e style of painting with its simple forms, vibrant colors and decorative themes appealed to the Nabis.

Most of these works were commissions by friends or patrons and themes about women and nature and spirituality …

Montmartre on foot

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There's more to Montmartre than the Sacré Coeur and Place du Tertre. Though neither should be missed on your first visit to Paris. Knowing a little bit about Montmartre beforehand prepares you for a day's exploration of this historical and lively neighborhood.
The sinking house as it is called isn't really sinking. It is firmly standing just below the Sacré Coeur Basilica. Some photographer took an "illusory" photo (similar to the image I tookabove) and it became a social media hit. It wasn't all that easy to take this image because I had to consider both the foreground and background so that they do not lean with the building as well. The published pictures of the sinking house are usually taken from the grassy enclosure beside the basilica because the grass provides a level field. The fence surrounding this grassy expanse was closed to the public during my visit. In this photo, the trees provide the anchor I needed to complete the illusion.
A dozen windmills …

April in Paris 2019

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Some 800 parasols are throwing serious shade over visitors at Le Village Royal in Paris. The Umbrella Sky project which started in Àgueda, Portugal in 2011 has been so popular that it has made the rounds in different parts of the world. The installation in Paris is temporary and will fold in July 2019. Le Village Royal is on 25 Rue Royale, a stone's throw from the Eglise de la Madeleine.

There’s no denying that La Tour Eiffel is one of the most visited landmarks in Paris. The internet is full of images of this iconic steel structure and recommendations for the best viewpoints. Once you’ve settled on where to snap that Instagram worthy image, the next step is to decide on how to portray the tower. There are innumerable angles to consider but definitely check the surroundings for the best way to frame the photo and capture the "mood" you wish to communicate.

Speaking of steel, the interior of the Eglise Notre Dame du Travail (Our Lady of the Laborers Church) is built of stee…

Paris in Autumn 2018

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Remember the song, I love Paris? 
“I love Paris in the springtime
I love Paris in the fall I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles I love Paris every moment Every moment of the year.”

Found myself in Paris in early November with someone who has never been to Paris. How wonderful it is to see Paris from fresh eyes. I had so much to show her but since she only had 36 hours in town, it was a short and sweet visit. She wanted to see the Tour Eiffel, first and foremost, so we went up to La Terrasse at Galeries Lafayette Haussman for her first glimpse of the tower.
And lucky for us, the much awaited Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette was up. This year the tree is right side up. Last year's tree was candy themed and was upside down. At the Lafayette Café on the sixth floor, a window seat affords views of the Tour Eiffel and the back of the Opera Garnier. This is a good spot for scanning the Parisian skyline while indulging on a piece of cake.
Guest…

Paris in Winter

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If winter is about grey skies, showers and chilling temperatures, then there's all that in Paris in January. So why go at such an inhospitable time? Because Paris in winter is moody (great for photo ops), less frantic, the bi-annual store sales are irresistible, and you don't have to fight with the swarm of selfie indulgent tourists.

There is no absence of color beneath the threatening cloud cover.

These pastel painted houses were my neighbors during my stay in Paris. I counted five visitors here, myself included. 

I was at once elated, captivated and saddened to see Notre-Dame de Paris again. Elated that I could behold her in festive finery, captivated by her timeless beauty but saddened by the reality of the threat of terrorism.  For a moment I felt fear when I saw policemen dressed in combat gear with high powered rifles patrolling the cathedral. We shouldn't have to accept this as the new norm. But life must go on.

The sixth of January is the feast of the Three Kings. The …

A Disappearing Act

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This is the Pyramid in Paris by I. M. Pei which I took on my last visit in 2014. JR, an artist best known for his works, Portraits of a Generation and Women are Heroes, has made the Pyramid disappear as only a magician can.

What to look forward to this summer

Here are some places and experiences you might wish to include when planning your summer travel. Plus an essential guide on tipping and a word about sayonara. Happy travels!
France Art trains in France From Paris to Versailles (Condé Nast Traveler) http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2016-05-18/france-decorates-trains-to-look-like-versailles

Fondation Louis Vuitton

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Fondation Louis Vuitton
The Fondation Louis Vuitton at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris is a new gallery for modern and contemporary art.  Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive of LVMH, envisioned architecture that would be symbolic of the 21st century and to this end, entrusted the project to renowned architect, Frank Gehry. The glass and steel building represents Gehry's idea of an evolving structure as it interacts with time and light, creating an impression of perpetual change.

The gallery was inaugurated in October of this year and the line to purchase tickets was understandably long in late November. I opted to enter the Jardin d'Acclimatation to get a close look at this colossal structure and observe the play of light on the curving glass panels as the afternoon progressed. 

Gehry's creation was inspired by glass and steel buildings of the 19th century. However, the Fondation is definitely 21st century. It appears like a ship with a recognizable bow under which th…

Rue Crémieux

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Rue Crémieux
It’s as if I’m going out again with my old lover. I’m discovering new things about him that I wasn’t aware of before. That’s how I feel about my love affair with Paris. Case in point: Rue Crémieux.
Rue Crémieux is a sleeping beauty with its cobblestone street, pastel painted façades, thoughtful murals, potted plants and an air of unhurried pace amidst the bustling Gare de Lyon area.  
The concerted efforts of the residents of Rue Crémieux to beautify their neighborhood is cause for applause. This is what happens when neighbors commit themselves to a worthy and far reaching goal.

I love the illusion of a tree straddling the house as if it always belonged there.

Notice the murals on this house. These well thought out personal touches define this neighborhood.
To get to Rue Crémieux, take the metro to Gare de Lyon. Walk down a few blocks along Rue de Lyon which is across from the station and Rue Crémieux will be on your left side. Please be mindful that this is a residential neigh…