Sunday, October 21, 2012

France trip - Part II

The next day, some people were planning on travelling about an hour to a flea market just outside of Paris; I had made up my mind not to travel on anything but the subway throughout my Paris stay but mostly on my two legs who really needed a workout. Plus I so wanted to go to a museum. I dismissed the Louvre, because although I would love to go, I know you have to plan your trip and head straight to what interests you most because it’s a whole world inside. And I hadn’t planned it properly. After all, I only knew I’d be going to Paris for a year…
The Musée d’Orsay was at the top of my list – it’s set in an old train station and the architecture is exquisite. The size was manageable, plus I knew I’d find paintings by Vincent van Gogh there – and that I couldn’t pass.

Sandy, who was my roommate, decided to come with me and by this time, we were navigating the Paris subway in true Parisian style. Well, minus my Paris Visite card that would never work and was replaced three times, and the map in our hands.

 Sandy is truly talented - her work is beautiful, imaginative and well-crafted - no wonder she was chosen to be part of the Ice Resin Creative Team this year. Yeeahh! Go Sandy! Plus, she is a giver - always helping out and doing things for others. She was so wonderful in class to everyone, helping people with their projects and showing them new techniques, including me.
Sandy's admirer
Outside the museum, we stopped to see a mime and Sandy gave him some money. He motioned for her to give him a kiss and leaned. When Sandy approached to kiss him on the cheeks, he quickly turned his face and she ended up kissing him on the lips!

Cheeky (or is that lippy?) mime!

The museum was fascinating! Full of exquisite sculptures -  many of the human form. I was mesmerized by the level of detail, the folds in the skin and yes, even some cellulite, haha, that someone could carve out of a stone… As we entered, there were numerous signs not to take photographs, but rebel that I am (read: usually respectful of those rules, and not keen to get into trouble) and seeing so many people with camera in hand, I immediately pulled out mine, and was also immediately caught and told to put it aside. Jeez, a girl can’t feel just a little mischievous for one tenth of a second…

Pretty soon, both Sandy and I were crying. No, the security guard did not strike us with his baton after my camera indiscretion.

Rather, she was standing in front of James Whistler’s Whistler’s Mother, and I was standing in front of van Gogh’s Starry Night… It was not, after all, my favorite painting – the one at Musée d’Orsay was his first version of the famous painting, and is much more serene, but the same fundamental themes are there. The one I love, which is in NY’s Museum of Modern Art, is much more troubled and haunting, the lights in the sky look like whirlwinds – it was painted in the asylum at St. Remy when his mind started slipping away. Why is it that madness seems to be so often associated with genius? And what does that say about us, struggling jewelry artists? Does it mean we’re crazy, or that our work is crap? Well, I don’t have any pieces selling at Sotheby’s for millions of dollars, so I guess I won’t be checking into St. Remy anytime soon…
We had a lovely lunch outside on a sidewalk café, where the friendly waiter insisted Sandy had the chicken because it was the best thing on the menu. Turns out it was a whole chicken! I had the quiche Lorraine, and when I told him it was very good too, he replied “yes, but the chicken was better!”. Ah, French waiters – they always have to have the last word.

Onto to the subway we went, and headed to Montmartre. The subway station is not for the faint-hearted. It is a steep spiral of stairways, and at every turn you expect it will be the last but it just goes on round and round. Has some pretty cool graffitti, though.

We took the funicular to the Sacré Coeur, and where immensely lucky that there was a service going on at the time. The basilica was filled with the sound of this French angelic voice, and the organ in the background. Truly magical moment, that made my heart burst with happiness from all the beauty pouring through my senses.

The day was coming to an end, and we joined Susan, Jen and some more members of our gang for a lovely dinner at a Montmartre restaurant. This was, of course, preceded by us wandering the streets surrounded by prostitutes and pimps trying to find the address and the restaurant name that the gals had sent us. Finally, a nice guy who must have felt sorry for the look of desperation in our faces stopped to help (then again, we were in the red light district - did he really stop to help? gulp...) and pointed us to a restaurant where, alas, we found them!

Next, Place des Vosges and Pere Lachaise cemetery (no I’m not creepy visiting cemeteries, I’ll have you know it atracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year…or do I need to check myself into St. Remy?).


  1. So glad you enjoyed your trip to Paris! (You must have--you haven't said anything about the jewelry-making yet!) You're making me wish I were there now; Paris is extra beautiful in October.

    1. Hi Gale! I had a wonderful time... It was a great experience. I haven't mentioned the jewelry yet, because we didn't do any in Paris. We met up in Paris, but the actual workshop took place elsewhere, in a little village called Durfort in the South. I'll get there!

  2. The museum, the mime, the tears and the WHOLE chicken was one of my favorite days. I am forever grateful for you letting me tag along. The museum was spectacular. I wish we had more time for more museums. Your a great museum buddy. You have the same appreciation for the art that I do. I could have spent 2 days there. we should have hid out "Night at the museum style" and then we could have taken pictures at night!!!! no slap on the wrist! Maybe next time

  3. Sandy, you're right, we should have done a night at the museum style stunt! This was the most wonderful day in Paris for me and I'm so happy I had your company... It was perfect all around, even being lost in the red district at night looking for the restaurant was fun... I sure hope there is a next time :)


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