Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Walk 14: Eighteenth-Century Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Musée Jacquemart-André, Musée Nissim de Camondo, Parc Monceau

Museums, museums, museums. It's funny, I feel like I spend half of my time in Paris in one museum or another (the other half is spent on the metro), taking pictures of things I really had no desire to see in the first place. There are some notable exceptions, like some of the astonishing paintings and sculptures in the Louvre, L'Orangerie, the Musée Rodin, and the Musée d'Orsay (okay now that I'm listing, it almost looks like there were more exceptions that anything else), but, for the most part, I'm just not a museum person. For every one piece that really strikes me, really moves me, there are about a hundred that I can't wait to forget. And so, when I somehow become absurdly wealthy, I will purchase every piece that I like (watch out, Rodin Museum, you're going to be wiped clean), and none that I do not, and will live out my days happily among my VanGoghs and Gauguins. It's the only way.

What started that daydream? Visits to two preserved eighteenth-century houses, one of which I loved, the other of which I did not, and neither of which I have pictures for (I know, I ended that sentence with a preposition, but it got really complicated otherwise). The Musée Jacquemart-André has the coolest double staircase I've ever seen/climbed, and it leads to a second-story balcony-type thing facing a beautiful Italian fresco and overlooking a sort of plant-filled foyer. Use your imagination.

This is from the outside:

I love me some lions.

Parc Monceau is beautiful (but I'm a sucker for anything green), and full of ruins, like this:

Cool, huh? Yeah, I thought so too until I found out that they were built in the 1800s because ruins were the "it" thing. Kind of like pre-torn jeans.

Also at Parc Monceau: this elementary school gym class obstacle course that I, for some reason, found really amusing. I think it was the teacher's Adidas windbreaker pants that did it.

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