Spent the day with an umbrella in one hand and sunglasses in the other. I really did need both of them, often in pretty rapid succession. Such odd weather.
Started out the morning in the apartment lazily waiting for the rain to stop pouring (it’s lovely to listen to the rain fall when we’re cozy and don’t need to leave our the garrett apartment). Then Jenny and I went our separate ways for mornings of fairly unsuccessful shopping. Lots of shops in Paris close on Mondays, and with this being Easter Monday, more shops were closed than at almost any other time of the year. Here’s what was closed today: the bakery, the cheese shop, the other cheese shop, the candy shop with the best pate des fruits in Paris. Oh, and the American University of Paris, which I tried to visit, is nowhere to be found in the place where Google Maps sites it. So I did a lot of walking — and really enjoyed myself — without accomplishing any of my goals.
Here’s what I accomplished instead. I bought and ate this tart (which was far less satisfying than it looks):
I walked by a whole group of super-fancy shops in the 8th arrondissement — shops like Chanel, Fendi, Dior, and Jimmy Choo — and then walked by a whole group of tiny (and usually closed) shops in the 7th. I ate the yummiest cannelles I’ve had yet in France. And when it started raining down cats and dogs, I ducked into a sweet cafe called Malabar for some carrot-leek-potato soup and bread.
Then the sun came back out, so I walked over the Seine to meet Carolyn.
Found Carolyn in line at the Musee Jacquemart-Andre, a fantastic home built by wealthy a wealthy art collecting couple in 1875. We waited in line for well over an hour to get in, but the wait was worth it. This museum is a beautiful site — a gorgeous building, filled with all sorts of magnificent pieces (sculpture, paintings, and decorative arts). Lots of French art by painters of Fragonard’s era, some Dutch masters, yards of tapestries, and a whole bunch of Italian stuff from the middle ages.
If you look really, really carefully, you can see Carolyn and me in this giant mirror:
The owners of the building also imported an entire Fresco from Italy:
After you go through the owners’ original apartments, you go to a special exhibition section of the museum. They had a display of Impressionist paintings from Normandy, and it was incredibly crowded! Apparently, many more people want to see Monet, Renoir, Signac, and Degas than want to see nineteenth century apartments (I’m not sure why, personally). But it was a neat exhibit — interesting to see paintings together from so many different museums (including two from Yale) on one narrow theme.
Had hot chocolate with whipped cream in the elegant salon, surrounded by tapestries and with a huge fresco overhead:
Said a sad goodbye to Carolyn at the St. Augustin Metro station, where there was bright sunshine at one corner and ominous clouds at the other.
Missed a huge rainstorm while I was taking the Metro back to our apartment (which, for memory’s sake, I’ll note is on the 6th floor of 22 Rue Davioud). Jenny and I chatted and packed, and then we went to our favorite local neighborhood bistro, Le Recepteur. This was my third time there …
Last dinner in Paris! So good — grilled scallops on a perfect bed of avocado/mango salsa; baked cod on a potato sauce with shiitake mushrooms; a great salad of beets and lettuce and pomegranate seeds with a brisk, vinegary dressing; and their wonderful tarte citron. I’m really going to miss eating over here.