Fezzik In Paris

Two Americans, three cats, and too many places named "de Gaulle"

On Toussaint, (now some ten days ago…) we found ourselves at Fondation Louis Vuitton for their newest exposition, être moderne: le moma à Paris.

So here are the pictures that have been, shall we say, fermenting in my Lightroom export folder for the past week and a half.

I burned a day of PTO on Tuesday (I already had Wednesday off on account of it being Toussaint) and indulged in one of my ongoing obsessions; I returned to la basilique cathédrale de Saint-Denis.

While it is true that I had entirely intended to go back, hoping to perhaps take advantage of some of the new perspective afforded by two additional years of absorbing French history and culture, I found myself inclined to fairly exhaustively catalogue this return on account of this post from 2015; this short, poorly-formatted post is responsible for a surprising amount of our inbound traffic from search engines, and upon investigation, I found that there does not seem to be a walkthrough of the church.

I thus present what’s being searched for, in hopes that someone finds it useful, edifying, or even an interesting way to simply kill a few minutes.

To shamelessly plagiarize myself from the Projects page:

So as to prevent vomiting on the part of the site, I’ve broken the pictures up into sections:

  • Gisants is probably the reason you’re here;
  • Chappelles should be self-explanatory;
  • Crypte is an unfortunately incomplete walk-through of the crypt;
  • Cathédrale is anything that happened to catch my eye.

Access can also be had via the menu under Projects.

The name Rubens conjures mental images of soft, curvaceous women in various semi-historical settings; if clothed at all, at least one breast has broken free of its silken restraint, and the remains of the garment threaten to drop to the ground, the act of disrobing to be marked only the faintest of sounds.

Unknown to the Purrito and I, however, was the fact that Rubens had a nearly-decade-long stint as a mix of an artist a diplomat, and a spy. Further negligence on our part was in overlooking the title of the Rubens exhibition at le musée du Luxembourg; had either of us stopped to axctually read the damn title, Rubens, portraits princiers, we would have known that we weren’t about to see a series of gossamered women. Instead, we got exactly what was on the tin, which was a series of court portraits.

This is not to say that Rubens’ court portraits were not interesting; they were worth seeing in their own right, though I will admit to raising an eyebrow at the number of paintings which were only attributable to his atelier, as opposed to Rubens’ own hand.

Most surprising, however, was rounding a corner in what we both thought was the middle of the exhibit only to be greeted with a sortie sign; Luxembourg’s galleries are nowhere near the size of those of the grand palais, so one expects that the exhibits will be smaller. Our discovery of the exact magnitude (or lack thereof, to be more accurate) of the exhibit was met with disbelief. Had it not been included in our 2017 sesame+ pass, we probably would have felt more cheated and less blandly disappointed than we did upon exiting the museum.

The worst experience of the day, however, goes to the Angelina salon de thé that sits on the ground of the museum; the mont blanc may be their signature pastry, but I had no idea that I find chestnut cream as vile as I did. No weight would be gained there.

I had a religious experience on Friday.

Wandering through the Marais, our mission to procure more pants (ah, adulthood) complete, the Purrito stopped in front of the window of a Jewish bakery and pointed at a loaf of halle bread.

Having walked this road many times before, always refusing the offer, I was prepared to dismiss it immediately, but the bread called to me. Golden and shiny, I considered the rumbling of my stomach instead of dismissing it; we thus moved towards the entrance of the bakery.

The challah had served as my initial temptress, but upon crossing the threshold I found myself struck, like Paul of Tarsos, but it was a poppy-seed bagel that blinded to me, whispering only two words: eat me.

We paid for the challah roll, the bagel, and a pastry, and managed to walk a few meters from the shop when I bit into the bagel. Ecstasy overcame my tongue: this is a bagel, with this light texture, this almost layered inside, this more bread-like but still distinct taste? What the hell have I been eating all of these years?

The Purrito giggled as words failed me, as I struggled in vain to sing the praises of this newfound flavor, as the agony of the passing experience soon fell over my face: the bagel was now gone, its martyrdom complete as I finished chewing.

The enlightenment, however, endures.

We found ourselves grounded this weekend due to illness on my part (I maintain that the Purrito passed it to me; she maintains otherwise), so here’s an opportunity to post the pictures from last Saturday’s jaunt to the recently-reopened (uh, April) roof of the grande arche.

There are also pictures of the district in general, because why the hell not.