Saturday, July 31, 2010


I wasn’t in a hurry to go to the Louvre again this year. I feel like I’m always complaining about the Louvre, but I really do like it. I just like it once every five years, maybe. It’s the crowds that get under my skin. And the heat. And the Da Vinci Code. So I escorted the group to the gates, and then left them to brave the Venus De Milo alone. I didn’t feel bad about leaving them alone; they deserved it for teasing me about my genie pants (they’re NOT.)

Instead, I explored the nearby neighborhood of Le Marais. Le Marais was originally a marshland until it became fashionable in the 1800’s. Then it went out of style, and became home to the homeless; it was the immigrant center for a long time. It’s still the Jewish center of Paris. After WWII it became gentrified, and now it is a center for arts, literature, and people like me who walk around looking for the Picasso Museum.

Not knowing the the Picasso Museum was under repair, and will be until 2012, I had the good fortune of wandering the backstreets of Le Marais. Here’s what I saw:

Along the Rue de Rosiers, a Jewish deli. Or what looked like a Jewish deli but was actually a store for hipsters.
At the Carnavalet Museum, a goddess with lobster claws for hands!
A little revolutionary propaganda.
Also at the Carnavalet Museum, two awesome faces. The first one looks a lot like me. The second one looks a lot like the devil:

This fountain at the Place des Vosges:
Victor Hugo's house!
Inside Victor Hugo's House! A Chinese room. With nobody in it. I could have touched EVERYTHING! AND I DID!! JUST KIDDING.
Two more awesome faces. The girl reminded me of Phoebe:

I met up with the group again and we went to the Paris Opera. I’ve never been there. I guess I felt that since I had seen The Phantom of the Opera it was basically the same thing. Well, wowzers. That is some opera house! I’ve never seen anything quite that opulent:

Sing, my angel of music! Love NEVER dies!
The ceiling of the theatre was painted by Marc Chagall:

After the Opera I walked across the street to the famous Café de la Paix and had some strawberry melba ice cream. It’s been said that if you sit for long enough at the Café de la Paix the whole world will pass by. I had that experience. I can’t remember the last time I saw so many nationalities, so many economic classes, and so many different energies pass by in one spot. And then there was some kind of traffic incident, so there were a bunch of cops. I moved on.

Tonight we took the Seine Riverboat tour. It’s my third time doing this, but I always love it. It was fun sitting again by Daniel Whiting, who I sat with two years ago on the same boat ride. We kept "raising the roof" to see if passersby on the banks would respond. We had some success. Our group was first in line to board the boat, which was lucky; we got to all sit together. It was fun to joke, take pictures, and smoothly pass under these beautifully lit bridges as the sun went down.

We got back to our hotel in Convention at midnight, but some of us were starving so we went to a nearby café, which appeared to be in no rush to close down. So I went ahead and had myself a club sandwich. And a diet coke that was 8.50 euros. I drank that Diet Coke like it was liquid gold, because it was. Cherie and Becca had crepes. Daniel and Jake had giant hamburgers. Scott and Alta split some kind of waffle. And now you are fully caught up on stuff we ate.