Bonjour Nos Amis,
To begin we would like to announce the winner of our first contest. We were quite surprised by the number of entrants which made it more difficult for our editorial staff to choose. But, after much consideration and several votes we have arrived at a winner:
Catherine Sullivan: ‘But seriously…does this make me look fat?’
And our first runner up:
Keith Almond: ‘Can I get some more wasabi?’
Unfortunately due to a strike by the postal workers we will not be able to ship your prizes to you. Instead we will both have an extra Croissant in your honor.
Today we hit the ground running at noon. Making up for some jet lag and serious walking around the city of lights we chose to sleep in. The weather gods decided to bring in some much needed rain for the day which also brought the temperatures down making it much cooler.
The agenda for the day included a visit to the 1st Arrondissment. When we got off the metro I took a picture of the Hotel Crillon which faces the Place de la Concorde. I included several photos of the Place de la Concorde on in a previous France Journal as it has a rich, if not violent, history. For anyone interested here is a good link for more information:
We stopped by l’Imperial Cafe on the rue de Rivoli for some lunch. Mitch enjoyed a Croque Madame and I had Rigatoni with Parma ham. Both we delicious – it is pretty hard to find a bad meal in Paris. We finished lunch with what can only be described as the best hot chocolate in the world. Such a delectable libation is deserving of at least three photos. Drool away.
Our ultimate destination was Les Arts Decoratifs which is part of the Louvre but operates separately, if that makes sense. They have a few beautiful permanent installations but specialize in housing temporary exhibits throughout the year. We had read in the IHT before our trip of one of their current exhibits: La Mechanique Des Dessous or Undergarments for men and women from the 14th century to today. Now before anyone gets too excited and starts to reach for the smelling salts, it was nothing too risqué. Of course, that always depends on the person, right? We were very disappointed to read the signs saying ‘No Photography’ but as soon as we saw one security guard texting on her cell phone and another asleep (pix), we felt confident that we could sneak a few in. The rooms were very dark to preserve the pieces on display so the photos are also dark, but for the most part you can get the idea. Many of the displays included breakdowns of each piece from the fabric to the metal or whalebone under structures – including ones for babies to insure that they little bodies did not become deformed. Some of the pieces were quite beautiful and intricate with the colors and details well preserved given how old they are. It is a fascinating exhibit and well worth the time. After our dangerous liaison with the undergarments we decided to visit one of their permanent installations of French furniture and decorative pieces. One of the paintings included here is a wonderful example of perspective which became all the rage in the mid 18th century. If you create a pinhole using your hand and view the painting through it, you will get the sense of being pulled into the piece. Along with the individual pieces they have also reconstructed entire rooms using authentic paneling, rugs, tapestries, paintings and furniture from the period. For those of you still deciding on what to get me for my 50th birthday next month, these are some good ideas 🙂
We left the museum via the center courtyard of the Louvre which gave us some great picture opportunities. Given the time we decided to stop by La Terrasse to see our friend Christophe, enjoy a light refreshment and rest our feet. Dinner was to once again be at Swann et Vincent where we had lunch on a previous day. Mitch started with the salad which again was spectacular in both taste and presentation. I had the roasted Pork Chop with melted cheese and roasted potatoes and Mitch had the Penne Arrabiata with pine nuts. Both were beyond delicious. We have found our E Baldi of Paris. For dessert I had the Apricot pie and Mitch had what he said was the best Panna Cotta he has ever had in his life. Well there you go.
That was all for today. Tomorrow we shall be visiting a spooky place with tons of history. Stay tuned.
Pericles & Mitch