Seeing Paris From a Fresh Set of Eyes
Having friends visit Paris awakens the “tourist” in us and allows us to see the city from a fresh set of eyes. It had been years since I’d seen a performance at the Opéra Garnier and had almost forgotten what a thrilling experience it is to be among the privileged seated on the red velvet seats, surrounded by the gilt carvings and protected by luminous and colorful Marc Chagall ceiling.
We had tickets for several weeks in advance to see Merce Cunningham’s avant garde dance troupe perform three pieces and had anticipated the moment all that time, only to be left cold by the performance, but exhilarated by the venue. Dinner after at nearby Le Domaine de Lintillac was a “ballet” worthy of the Opéra — foie gras, confit de canard, Montbazillac wine — less than 28 Euros a person worth double the price. If you don’t know this restaurant, everyone who adores foie gras should. The menu is so fine and the prices so small, that you will think your glasses need adjusting. It fills every night, so reserve early, and know that (for some odd reason) you will be among the 25 – 35 year-old crowd who love Périgourdine cuisine on a student’s budget. “Tant pis” for those over the appropriate age of reason. There are three, all of which, of course, are listed in “Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants” (recently updated for 2005 and available at http://www.insiderparisguides.com).
Le Domaine de Lintillac:
10 rue St-Augustin, 2nd, 01 40 20 96 27
20 rue Rousselet, 7th, 01 45 66 88 23
54 rue Blanche, 9th, 01 48 74 84 36
The Véronèse Profane exhibit sponsored by the Senate at the Musée du Luxembourg is about to close (January 30th), so we were pleased to take Saturday afternoon to absorb these magnificent Renaissance works by Verona-born (nee Paolo Caliari) from the 16th-century. The museum space at the Palais du Luxembourg has exhibited works for centuries. When it was built by Marie de Médicis in 1615, two galleries were designed to welcome 24 Rubens paintings dedicated to the glory of the queen. In 1750, it was opened to the public and was the first in France exposing them to Leonardo de Vinci, Titian, Veronese, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Poussin and Raphaël. Today, the museum is administered by the Minister of Culture and is dedicated to promoting artistic patrimony of the regions of France. For more information, visit http://www.expo-veronese.com/, http://www.museeduluxembourg.fr/
Last night, a very international assortment of people packed Patricia Laplante Collins’ Ile Saint-Louis apartment for a Sunday Evening Paris Soirée to hear psychotherapist Dale Novick Gaber explain “Why (American) Men Have Affairs. With a topic so provocative, I expected mostly women to attend, but just the opposite — men of all ages and nationalities came to learn more about their own psyches. Many in the group were also psychologists, likely anxious to hear the opinion of their colleague. Every week the topic and speaker changes — and no matter what is offered up, it is another excellent meeting venue for Anglophones. To subscribe to Patricia’s mailing list for upcoming soirées, email her at [email protected] and for more information from Dale Gaber about her private therapy sessions, email [email protected]
More meeting-up for Anglophones happens at Parler Paris Après Midi tomorrow afternoon 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Le Pierre du Marais. Come for coffee or whatever and meet lots of fascinating folks. We never know whose going to show and that’s half the fun! Visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for all the details.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. And mark your weekend agenda to come for our annual King Cake Party — Galettes des Rois, Vin Chaud, conversational exchange and membership discounts Saturday, January 15th, 2005, at the Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group. Visit http://www.parlerparlor.com/ for more information.