Monday, March 2

Thursday, January 1, 2009

This morning we slept late and didn’t get up until 11:00. It was glorious. Since it was New Year’s Day, we knew most things would be closed, so we didn’t stress about getting anywhere. While I was getting ready, my sweet husband went out and bought us some pastries. Lots of pastries. He got a baguette, pain au chocolat, and this giant, flaky, chocolatey, custardy thing. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We ate a ton while watching music videos on TV. We don’t have very many channels here, and we’ve been watching a lot of music videos because about half of them are things we recognize, and the French ones are interesting to see. We’ve seen Beyoncé ponder what it would be like if she were a boy one too many times, though.

We finally left the apartment around 1:00 and walked to the Centre Pompidou. The building is crazy, with all the utility pipes visible on the outside (and painted bright colors too). It does not fit in the with classic French architecture that surrounds it. The center was open, so we bought tickets from the automatic machine and barely even had to wait in line at all—just a quick security check. First we walked through the library side. I had no idea it was a regular old research library (and a busy one—it was filled with students). Then we went over to the museum side.
This was a modern art museum. There was definitely some cool stuff there, and some stuff I just don’t get. Three white canvases in a row, titled “untitled” aren’t going to impress me. We saw some of Calder’s work (the mobile guy) and a bunch of Picasso, which is always cool. There were two special galleries in the Centre Pompidou too, and our tickets got us into everything, so we checked it out. We spent two or three hours there total, and we were exhausted. Even after taking a break in the center’s café, we were not refreshed. My feet were killing me, almost as if I’d been walking practically nonstop for the last couple of weeks.

Just outside the center was the Stravinsky Fountain. We think it would’ve been cooler if half the water hadn’t been frozen. And, I’m not certain, but I think it was even colder today than it has been.
We decided to wander over to Ile St. Louis, just to see it. We’d heard it was fancy and nice, so we walked across the Seine and onto the island. We walked down the main street and wandered into a few shops. A lot of shops were closed, but there were still a surprising number of people out and about. It was a pretty nice area, but it all felt too upscale for us.
Next we walked back to the Right Bank in search of an open café. We weren’t especially hungry, but we were freezing and wanted to warm up. We finally found a little place that was open near the Opera Bastille. It looked promising, but it ended up being pretty terrible. They didn’t have the quiche that we wanted, and the servers mostly ignored us. We ordered a bottle of wine, and when the waiter brought it over, it had already been opened, and he made a show of pointing out to us that it was full. We’re pretty sure that we were charged 20€ for them to fill our bottle with a much cheaper wine. When we were finished, we never were able to get anyone’s attention to ask for the check, so we ended up just putting some money on the table and leaving.

It was getting dark, and my feeeeet huuuuuuuuurrt, so we took the metro back to our apartment and started packing up our stuff to go home. I snacked on the baguette Andrew bought this morning, even though I ate a ton of bread at the café. It’s probably for the best that I don’t live in Paris, because I would eat my weight in bread every single day.

I can’t believe we leave tomorrow. These three weeks have flown by. Just one more night on the Murphy bed, then we’re outta here.

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