Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

We'll Always Have Holiday in Paris....A Continuing Journal

We'll Always Have Holiday in Paris....A Continuing Journal

Old Dec 27th, 2004, 10:37 AM
  #41  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What else do you call those "things" which you tie to your glasses to keep them from falling into your vichyssoise? I usually go to the optician and point to them.
I did try the crepes when I returned from St. Sulpice and it was delicious! And thanks for the link.

I think most American tourists in France feel guilty about going to fast food franchises which began in the states,
FAMOUSUNCLEART is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2004, 11:46 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Never thought about what those "laces" would be called. By doing a web search, I find they're called eyeglass holders, necklaces or straps. Laces is better

Thought I would share a Paris website I like, Jack-travel.com

Here are his thoughts for off the beaten track
http://www.jack-travel.com/Paris/Par...s_Contents.htm
mclaurie is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2004, 11:58 AM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,630
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yeadonite, I'm in Delaware too. Wilmington is just like Paris! [hopefully for the posting-police, this is read dripping with sarcasm...]

UncleArt... please continue, but tell me again, why are you there? Just home-exchanged and you're going to stay awhile?
SuzieC is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2004, 12:32 PM
  #44  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hiya Gang,
Mclaurie,many thanks for googling laces, now what is the stem that holds your glasses called. What word did you use to google?
I love the Jack site and will definitely go to some of his hidden places.

Susie, indeed I am on a home exchange here until Jan 7 and then back to NYC, searching for my next exchange, my daughter and I are looking to go to Barcelona,

If we do, I will be in touch with all the fodorites, they are a big help when one travels.
FAMOUSUNCLEART is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2004, 12:36 PM
  #45  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>...what is the stem that holds your glasses called?<

If you mean the thingies that go over your ears, temples.

ira is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2004, 01:02 PM
  #46  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Ira, it's a big help to know what is the name of a thing is you are putting on your face.
FAMOUSUNCLEART is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2004, 01:06 PM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Uncle Art, they are called Eyeglass Chains. Even when they are not actually chains.
Scarlett is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2004, 01:08 PM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 820
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SuzieC,
I am Chadds Ford, Pa on the border of Delaware. Since all my shopping is in TAX FREE Delaware that is where I say I am. I really do love it here, if only I could get a job. Yeadonite is for Yeadon Pa where I spent some of my youth. My Dad loves to see the world so he or we pick a place of interest and look for a home exchange!

Connie
yeadonite is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2004, 08:09 PM
  #49  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is a short window of daylight during winter in Paris, and I am up earlier than usual to make sure I can walk through it. It is the Sunday after a, non celebatory Chirstmas for me. My coming here was to escape the ghosts of Christmas past, those memories of coming into the living room of the Norman Rockwell home with the central casting of a non perfect family cast. So far, this home exchange filled it perfectly. From now on, the Christmas holidays will be mine, an event of my choosing and event which surpasses and replaces the past painful ones,

I was up around 0530, did the usual routine in an unusual strange home, I think the sun, defiintely not bright, came out and cast a steel blue dull patina and it was cold and empty. I reveled in the emptyness of the day and this strange place.

Few cars, one solitary bus passed me, I glanced at it, the driver glanced back at me and waved a short wave as if to say we both have to work. For those in the family who do not know I grew a goatee to add to my mustache. I did this so I would look more like a Frenchman and not the dreaded American Tourist. I defiintely looked it but deep inside I felt more like an American alien escaping the cliche the past has become.

The air was cold, there are damp spoors of urine on the cobbled street road, and I think its going to be worse on the day after New Years Eve. I went down the subway at Danube. It is Danube, the only subway stop in Paris that is part of strange loop (and maybe the world). It is one where you could get caught in a moibus from which if you miss your stop, you cant ever get off.

One the platrorm, a young man, again not Parisien, surveying the map on the wall, he is nervouse, twitching fingers tracing a route, and I walk away from him a bit concerned. I should not have been, she simply was lost which is common at the Danube stop.

I was going to the Musee D'Orsay, devoted to the Impressionists and like the Lourve, its one any body who comes to Paris, must see. It is usually crowded which is why I planned to be there early, it was about 0850 when I began.

I really needed people to focus on, to help erase my blue attitudem and of course there where none. By none, not anyone of interest until we reached Jourdain and an African woman got on, she was carrying a huge red paper bag, she was bulky, big but not fat. In this empty post Christmas train of sad people, she decided to sit in the chair opposite me. She didnt hear me say Thank God!

She put the bag down at my feet, and began to pick out white cardboard papers vacummed packed over some cheap jewelry called A and Z Bijou ( I think was Bijou but it could have been something different). There was a small label with the price on it, I assume that since she scrapped it off with polished red long red nails which curved inwards. It made the scrapping job more difficult.

I got off at Chatelet which is the main intersection of about four or five lines. In a film, when extras were needed to populate a scene, the assistant director will call this direction "Background! Action!". That's what it felt like in Chatelet, hundreds of tourists going or coming some place.

Chatelet is not a good one for posting clear directions and I thought that was perfect for the mood I was in. Finally, with one or two false starts, speaking to people who didn't know how to catch the train, to Metro people who gave unclear English direction. I was on a platform but I supsected it was not the one since their were railroad trains zipping through without stopping.

There were knots of policemen and women strolling through the lost sheep but they were not paying attention. I went up to one couple, a blonde woman who looks like a police woman in a TV series, too beautiful to be tough, with her tall and soft looking partner. I asked if this was the platform to go to Museum D'orsay, He told me that it was as the train rolled into the stop.
It was a huge, double decker railroad train with no visible markings except the big 2 for second class.

I asked again and she said slightly annoyed that it was the one, get on it,

I did. She was right. As we approached the spot it occured to me that D'Orsay was once a railway station and they used the railroad tracks which were already there. To call 'railway station' is to give it a huge injustice. When you enter the station the first thing which dominates the open space spotted with statutes is an immense clock.

All the structure of the ceiling is exposed and it looks, to me, like those scratchy black and white films during the end of the war where you could see the skeleton of the railway stations after a series of bombing. There is no sense of destruction here but of creation.

The main work is by the Impressionists who, as most people know, were maligned and ridiculed but have since become a valued addition to the long history of art. I know I should preface what I am about to say with all sorts of qualifications. Yes! I know they're great,etc.

However for me, they have been overexposed. They've become the Norman Rockwells of modern art. Someone asked if I had seen the new MOMA, and I hadn't but I have exhibits year after years and what they have doesn't appeal to me any longer. I felt the same way here, but I must say seeing Degas working pastels were something I had missed and I think his work is different,

I am contradicting myself but I do that often. I saw a signs which gave directions which read PreImpressionists (Coffe Shop) Impressionists. I thought that was fitting! Impressionism has become so common that it deserved a coffe shop to get into their history.

I ran a bit long and I will post a chapter of going to the Cluny, a museum of antiquites later.

I am looking forward to my reaction to an isolated New Years Eve. The other musees will be open on the first Sunday of the Month and Year and will be free. That should cheer me up.
FAMOUSUNCLEART is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2004, 05:38 AM
  #50  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>I think the sun, defiintely not bright, came out and cast a steel blue dull patina and it was cold and empty. I reveled in the emptyness of the day and this strange place. <

Hey Unc,

That's good writing.

Hope that you have cheered up a bit.


ira is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2004, 06:34 AM
  #51  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Ira, I have come out that blue slump and feeling better. You must know how catharic it is to write when you are feeling punk.

I went to the Arts et Metier and that helped to bring me around. Around to what, I don't know but I'll post it later.

Again, thanks
FAMOUSUNCLEART is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2004, 06:53 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

I am loving this (as I too read it from Delaware)! Uncle Art, you not only have a sense of adventure, but you do things with such flair (or at least you make it sound as if you do things with flair ).

>>HE'S GETTING READY FOR THE BIG CHRISTMAS MASS, AND QUICKLY PUTS A CURSE ON YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN, AND YOUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN.

I think this explains why yeadonite isn't in Paris. . .






elle is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2004, 07:04 AM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Your fans are still around Art. I too was in Paris alone once. I found the city of love can be quite depressing when you're on your own. Hope you cheer up a bit.

I know someone with an apt in Barcelona who doesn't normally do home exchanges but rents it out when he's not using it. Maybe he'd like to come to NY. When were you thinking of doing Barcelona?
mclaurie is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2004, 07:31 AM
  #54  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the observation, Elle, I do, though, have a flair for mad cap romances aboard an ocean liner with Fred and Ginger dancing in the moonlight. Like most flairs, they die out with a sigh and a Cole Porter tune fading away.

There is no curse on Yeadonite. She is not here since this is not only a one bedroom apartment, and if we got it together, I would be the one sleeping on an air bag and Le Figaro, and she would be sleeping in the baby's room with the moon painted on the ceiling.

McLaurie, my dear, I have been thinking about my slump. I wouldn't suffer as much in Philly or even Yeadon. The other day, on the metro, a man and woman of around 35 or maybe even forty. It was during the rush hour, she evidentally had to get off before him. They kissed with a warm embrace, her hands on his shoulder, then slipping down to jacket pocket. It went on for some time and was ignored except for one tourist...me.
It is the cite of light and romance, damn it, and you dont have someone to be romantic with, it can get to be barren and cold.

Let segue to a warmer climate. I think we will hold out for a home exchange, the advantages are immense. I am not sure when since both parties have to settle on a date.

Regardless, when we do go, I will be delighted to post our trip. Ola!!!
FAMOUSUNCLEART is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2004, 08:10 AM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"I think we will hold out for a home exchange, the advantages are immense"

Are you saying you'd prefer a house to an apartment? Or did you misunderstand my idea that the owner of the Barcelona apt. might consider an apt exhange?
mclaurie is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2004, 09:51 AM
  #56  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, I did Misunderstand what you were suggesting. If he is interested in doing a home exchange, I would like to hear from him. We call it a home exchange when, in reality, we have only exchanged apartments. Sorry for the confusion
FAMOUSUNCLEART is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2004, 05:45 PM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 820
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
mclaurie,
Please have your friend email me at the above address to talk about an exchange.
yeadonite is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2004, 05:50 PM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
He's away until after the New Year and not sure he'd be interested, but I will definitely follow up on the possibility.
mclaurie is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2004, 06:03 PM
  #59  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As you may has suspected Yeadonite really is my social secretary, she takes care of the right time, the perfect apartment with two beds, and sizes up person as to his or her character.

I am appear to be a aged pawn in her hands but she does her job well and gets paid in pretzels, diet pepsi and sleeps on perfect pillows.

I do hope we can do it, we, my social security and I appreciate your thinking of us.
FAMOUSUNCLEART is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2004, 11:20 PM
  #60  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hiya Gang,

First off, I was not and never will put down the Impressionist, was that your impression? It was of some and indeed, it was a vital part of art (I feel I should capitalise the word art but it looks egotisitical). The d'Orsay should be of one of the places to vist for first time visit. It isn't just the pre and post impressionists just the building is worth it.

I went from the d'Orsay to the Musee de Cluny but not without incident. Many of you are not familiar with the Paris Metro and some of you have not been in a subway as I realized when you visited me. Not only not been in one but preferred not to go into one.

When you enter the turnstile. you insert the ticket, push on the turnstile which opens two small and heavy doors which you have to push hard . It's much like going through a swinging door in a Western. The doors are thick and need the strength of Ahnold to open. Not easy for an older retired gentleman of leisure.

Got the picture? As I was using all the reserved strength, I was being pushed and pushed hard from behind. Oh damn, I thought I'm being mugged and tried to touch my meager belongings to make sure they were still there,With a lot of difficultym I turned around and a gentleman had joined me in the space between the two doors and the turnstile by climbing over the latter which by then were at an angle which pinched his leg and he couldn't move,

I did not invite him, indeed I didnt know him. I stopped, turned and said "Whatthehell" He was shouting something in some language and a police guard came over to chat with him, I went on my way, a bit shaken. Turnstile jumpers in Manattan do not share!

After that brush of modernity, I was delighted to step into the past. The Cluny is the perfect place for it. It is the reconstruction of the site of the 'Mansion of the abbots of Cluny' replete with artificats, paintings, bathtubs, and the well known tapestry of the Lady and the Unicorn,
It dates back to 1400 and the reconstructions reveals a great deal about those times.

After spending some time with modern painters, I was struck how similar the some of the paintings were to the Impessionist. I feel that some of the painters were 'primitifs' and some of the statues reminded me of Modigiliani. Some of the paintings were like Grandma Moses!

As many of you know, the detritus of life in the past interest me, and there are displays of the tools the artists, and that always marvels me. Not only that they did it well but they could do it with the equipment they had. The artists,the goldsmiths, weavers (?) bookbinders, and, of course, the creators of stained glass of the middle ages were very patient people.

I can understand why church goers tried to behave themselves, some of the stained glass show the hell they would spend eternity if they didn't behave. I can vouch for that on personal experience. A Greek Othrodox family in a small town in Pennsylvania had to go to Philadelphia to attend Easter and Christmas services. I need only to smell the pungent insence to be frightened of the hell I faced. The paintings at the altar were of the torture we sinners faced. I must have been eight or nine.

At one part of the exhibit were statues of various high priests, one had swastikas on his robe.
I know that they were innocent swastikas but I always thought they originated with the American Indians. It was a minor shock to realize they were used centuries ago and used as a decoration for priests.

Looking at the past the way it was helps us to look at ourselves and the future. I do recommend a vist to Cluny and I hope you don't have to share a turnstile as I did. And please give yourself time to do it justice. After all, time gone by are the factor here. It put me in a reflective mood but then again I have spent some time on earth.

FAMOUSUNCLEART is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -