Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Culture Week

After living in a place for a while it tends to become as familiar as a favourite pair of jeans; there are bars and restaurants I like to go to (mainly all up the road), I have my favourite walks and the culture that I so craved after Madrid and it’s Golden Triangle of three museums fade into the background. At the beginning of this summer I couldn’t remember when I had been to museums or stuff like that. Admittedly I’ve had my head shoved so far up my laptop these last couple of years that it’s been hard to extract it, but the combination of a nice long holiday, a friend visiting and a need to fill spare hours with something other than someone else’s fiction has drawn me out (and I explored the cupboard of crap and found my teachers card which gets me in free to a number of museums.)

First stop was the Palais Garnier or Opera. The first time I saw the exterior of the building was when I was running around it trying to find the Roissy bus. It’s a fantastic place to meet with its capacious steps, but I couldn’t tell you what the inside looked like although I had probably read about it or heard or something, but yep, the auditorium ceiling is most definitely Chagall.

The rest of it is a bit difficult to describe, it’s a mixture of styles which if you ask me seem a bit ... kitsch. I loved the opera boxes though and all the different little areas on that floor where one could meet secret lovers (that’s what happened in the early 20th century, isn’t it?) And I tried to imagine myself in some floaty ball gown in the hall of mirrors that tried to emulate Versailles.

Actually I guess what I really like about it is that for as little as 7€ I could actually go to an opera and waltz around and pretend to be some high society Paris demoiselle in those halls and corridors.

Next stop was the Lizard Lounge which is some trendy bar in the Marais that I’ve never been to. We went for a Spoken Word event. I liked the sing song at the end!

Followed by the Pompidou; I actually have always loved the Beaubourg as the locals call it. I just like that Modern Art doesn’t allow for that middle of the road reaction. What do you think of these? You see, you can’t say, ‘Mmm, it’s nice...’

But while there I realised that I had NEVER been to the Picasso Museum. Moi, who claims to worship the man, who whenever I am asked to name five geniuses starts with: Picasso, Einstein and Marquez and then because I recognise the gender stereotype spend half and hour scratching my head trying to find two women to balance it out.

Now the best thing about the Picasso Museum is that as you follow the signs there are little café’s every two steps and there is one on the corner opposite this little park that does gorgeous CAKE! Actually I wouldn’t recommend that one because it was quite expensive, but surely one of the other eleven are more reasonable. Ok that wasn’t the only best thing.

And then as Ms Maru left to go and get her bus to the airport I realised that I had forgotten the one museum I wanted to go to all summer- Quai Branly! Duh! I think it was something to do with the little bundle that has finally gone to sleep on the chair opposite after spending the morning parping like a goddun (I don't think anyone has noticed that I've slipped in another bit about the ...)


Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Show off - just 'cos you live in Paris. Mutter, grumble, complain. A whole Chagall ceiling - am I green or what. And so many cafes to choose from. Right that does it, I am definitely on the wrong side of the planet. Shove over you lot, I'm heading north!

And what was that about a cat...

kyklops said...

Picasso's looking rather spry for a man his age... huh?... what?... doh!

Verilion said...

Yeah but I needed to spend the summer here to do stuff like that again Vanilla. And what cat? I never mentioned the word cat?

Maybe that's why I wanted to take the shot Kyklops, because I saw him sitting there and I just knew I had to snap him.

Jon M said...

Cor! Culture vulture you! Isn't it strange how we often ignore the stuff that's going on under our very noses? Spoken word event...is that like...a chat?

apprentice said...

Oooh I'm so jealous. What a lovely haul of places you've visited. That teacher's pass sounds great.

Funny how we need visitors to inspire us to do things.

Jefferson Davis said...

I'm jealous! I have to write an incredibly long thesis this fall on a piece of artwork and the artist behind it. Hmmm...Perhaps I should come to Paris and get a true appreciation for art. :)

Also, I must memorise 50 selective paintings, the artist behind them, and the history of said paintings.

And, I've got to remember about 200 different, Italian, French, Greek, and Latin words. (food for thought)

Fantastic pictures, V.

Verilion said...

Hello Jon, spoken word ... well it was a couple of big headed young girlies reading shite poetry and then some genuinely good poetry and the girl in the photo playing the kazoo was the highlight of the evening; she's a very talented singer songwriter with a beautiful voice. I should put a link up somewhere so that you can hear.
Hello apprentice, the teacher's pass is pretty good. You used to be able to get in free to the Louvre but then a new company took over and stopped all that.
And jefferson, so are you going to do Guernica and Picasso, or maybe his Las Meninas pieces, oh or the erotic bull cartoons he did towards the end of his life. Alright, alright you choose, don't let me influence you at all.
I am a bit concerned about this whole 'memorise' thing though. Tell me that you are doing an engaging, thought provoking, challenging course and it's not all about memory? Please? I'm a teacher, I need to hear the right words to have faith in my profession.


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