We started off Day 5 with a visit to the Musee d’Orsay. The Orsay is an incredibly fabulous museum. You do not get lost in it like you do in the Louvre, Victoria & Albert, Met, etc., because it’s basically all one giant room — the interior of an old train station — with smaller rooms partitioned off of a central sculpture court. They hang the impressionists against a dark dusky purple wall color that really makes the colors pop. They have a whole room of just pastels, by folks like Odilon Redon, and the colors there are more intense than most of the oil paintings. They have some famous textbook paintings like Monet’s studies of the cathedral at Rouen, but mostly what they have are incredible masterpieces you HAVEN’T seen in textbooks by the great impressionist and post-impressionist French artists.
One bad thing is that they don’t allow you to use a camera inside the museum, period. So here’s a shot of the outside, and a few sketches I did.
Then, the Eiffel Tower!
Of all the sites in Paris, this was the only one that was mobbed on a weekday in April. We braved the crowd to go all the way to the top level. Awesome views, as you might expect. They have Ben & Jerry’s up there, so I’m not sure what that says about the fate of French culture, but c’est la vie.
The tower lights up after the sun goes down. I rather doubt this is the entirety of the “light show” our guide book told us would happen each hour, but it was all that happened at 9:00 on this particular night, and we were too tired and hungry to hang around until 10.
We found a cool little restaurant that specializes only in duck. It was very good, and the other cool thing about the place is that they have toasters on all the tables, so you can toast your bread however you like it.
We took the train partway home, then hopped off and had a leisurely walk along the Siene before returning to our apartment in happy exhaustion yet again.
Here are the sketches I did last weekend at ASP’s Timon of Athens. I didn’t add color to any of them because the costumes are basically all black and white. And because I didn’t have time, which is also why I’m not going to write a full review. I basically agree with the two reviews I linked to previously.
Excellent performances from the whole cast — depicted below — Steven Barkhimer, Daniel Berger-Jones, Allyn Burrows, Joel Colodner, Michelle Dowd, John Kuntz, Will Lyman, and Bobbie Steinbach).
I just realized that my timing is bad. I was going to post the honeymoon reports day-by-day, but I have other commitments pretty much 24/7 this week. So this post is just to say, the next few honeymoon posts may be delayed.
In the meantime, check this out — Candlewick has a YouTube channel. I hope to contribute some homebrew Odyssey trailers to it, later this summer. Let me know if you have ideas or want to help!
I saw ASP’s Timon of Athens on its opening night, and deeply regret that I don’t have time to scan the sketches right now. I’ll post them next weekend. In the meantime there are some nice reviews here and here.
We went to Montmartre and Sacre Couer. We climbed the many steps. We avoided the scammer who wanted to weave a bracelet on one of our wrists. We went inside, and were blown away by the architecture and by the amazing mosaics.
We wandered around Montmartre a bit, looking at the artists’ stalls, tile rooftops, and very nice views of the city.
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We swung back by Notre Dame — on the weekend there had been a long line to get in, but there was no line today, so we went in and marveled, especially at the ornamental gates throughout, and the cool relics they have tucked away in one side of the transept. Alison got some lovely shots through one of the stained glass windows.
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We slept really late, and then got off to a slow start, having breakfast in the apartment and looking at guidebooks and such, so Day 2 turned out to be kind of short.
We swung back by Notre Dame. Right across the river is the famous bookstore Shakespeare & Co. (about which I’m sure Alison will eventually blog at length, so I’ll say no more about it)
Then we went to a nearby flower market where they also have birds and other animals on Sundays (like these adorable sleeping ferrets).
I drew this cool old church in the neighborhood.
We headed over the the Arab World Institute, a very cool building with patterned metal shades that iris open and closed like camera shutters.
Unfortunately they were closed, so we went on to the Jardin des Plantes (Botanical Garden), where I sat and drew for a while while Alison watched the kids playing. They have a pretty horrifying sculpture next to the playground, of a bear mauling a hunter and his bear cub prey. I guess the message is something like “don’t mess with my kids or I’ll rip your head off.”
Hey, there. Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. Alison and I took a 16-day honeymoon in Paris and London, and since we got back I’ve been trying to catch up with work, scan all the drawings I did, and go through all the photos we took. Rather than write a novella-length post with hundreds of images, I thought it might be cooler and more reasonable to tell the whole thing on a day-by-day basis, almost as though I were blogging in real-time but with a several-week delay.
We flew out on April 23rd, just as flights were starting to return to normal after the volcanic eruption in Iceland. We landed in Paris early on the morning of the 24th. We had rented an apartment in the Marais area (found on VRBO.com), and arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport and take us straight to the apartment so we didn’t have to do any navigating in our exhausted state. We got unpacked and then headed out into the city, with the ambition of doing stuff that would keep us awake another ~14 hours until bedtime so we could get ourselves on Paris time as quickly as possible).
Our apartment building had a great stairwell (with a TINY elevator running up the middle of it). It is located very close to the Seine.
Great neighborhood, with tons of charming shops.
Not far away is a humble little place called Notre Dame, which was my first drawing stop.
Then we went to Alison’s favorite Cathedral, St. Chapelle (I should mention that Alison had been to Paris before, but I had not). There was some renovation in progress, which slightly spoiled the full affect, but it’s still beautiful, with a number of quirky details.
Then we headed over to the vast, sprawling art edifice that is The Louvre.
After that we had a lovely dinner and then melted into a puddle of goo.
Tune in for more tomorrow!