06 June 2009

A day in Paris- 7e, 17e and 8e

I'm heading out of town tomorrow for the last business trip for awhile- it's been a crazy 2 months. Today I was hoping to get a good long bike ride in since it will be a week before I can ride again, but I'm just starting to get over a cold which had already sidelined me this week, and it seemed like riding for several hours in 50 degree rain was not a good idea. So instead, Rolf and I went exploring in Paris. It seems natural that one would, while living here, do a lot of this, but when you get into the day-to-day work/eat/sleep/work out/life junk mode, it doesn't seem to happen.

Walking across the Pont de l'Alma towards the Left Bank; from the 16e to the 7e.

Musee du Quai de Branly

The first stop was a museum which specializes in native cultures the non-Western world. We first saw the permanent exhibits, organized by area (Oceania, Asia, Africa, the Americas), and then a temporary exhibit on things inspired by Jazz over the last century.

Musee du Quai de Branly; the Jazz exhibit.

(Rolf: I thought the best part of the exhibit was Guitar Drag, a 14-minute film of a guy (in Texas, of course) dragging a plugged-in and full-volume electric guitar behind his pickup truck on- and off-road. To get the full effect, turn it up REAL loud.)

We spent several hours there, so then it was time for lunch. Since we were already in the 7e, we went to the amazing Spanish food purveyor and wine bar Bellota-Bellota, which serves small plates (tapas like) of amazing food.

They hand cut the Serano ham (the diagonal things are hams) but slice the chorizo and other sausage with a traditional meat slicer.

Rolf is a happy man. And who wouldn't be?

For dessert, the best canele in Paris, right around the corner.

Here's the neighborhood in the 7e.

So we headed towards Les Invalides, to get the Metro to our next destination, and ran into the festival of bikes!

It seemed mostly geared towards getting non-cyclists or barely-cyclists more interested in cycling, rather than catering to hard core cyclists.

Totally funky folding bike- do they carry these at Trophy?

And for real.

These are all electric bikes. Ok, whatever.

Ok, at least these I recognize...

The exhibit of historic bikes.

And bikes of the future?

And the best we could figure here was a lesson on how to ride in the city (dos and don'ts).
(Rolf: The little triangle on the front of the red rider says: "Danger! Angle Mort!" Gets the point across.)

So after checking out the Fete du Velo, we then took the Metro to the 17e.

Rue Poncelet, great market shopping every day.

We were on the edge of the 17e, so shortly we were in the 8e.

St. Alexandre Nevski, a very cool church in the Russian neighborhood. Unfortunately we couldn't get inside.

You never know what you'll find on the streets of Paris. A Chinese Pagoda?

One of the entrances to Parc de Monceau

Our next destination, the Musee Nissam de Camondo. This is a 19th century mansion in which the former owner did the whole house up in 18th century French style, by getting wall panels, furniture, everything as antiques. For example, there are several rugs from the Louvre, from when the Louvre was a palace, not a museum itself.

The front of the actual residence from the inner courtyard.

As far as mansions go, it was pretty nice. A good size, a nice gardens, not too out of control like Versailles or Schoenbrunn. I could live there...

Finally, we walked through Parc de Monceau to the Metro to go home.

The Monceau Metro stop still has all of its Art Nouveau splendor.

Now it's time to pack...

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