Sunday, June 8 2008
Sunday I meant to get up and go to mass at Notre Dame Cathedral, but instead I opted to sleep in. I think that was a good decision. I got up around 11 (somehow I always need more sleep here!) and decided to visit the open-air marché de la Bastille (market of the Bastille), so named because it is right next to the Place de la Bastille... You can look down through the middle and see the huge column I showed you just a few days ago:
The market was enormous! There were vendors there selling everything you can imagine - clothes, cooking supplies (as in pots and pans), poultry and eggs, (you know what they say about those French, they eat anything that moves...)
I would totally have bought some, except that they were entire pigeons - with heads, and feet, and guts. And that is really more than I am willing to deal with. (Celine, I'll have to save my pigeon cake for another day!)
Anyway, continuing my list of the food at the market, there was red meat (veal tongue? mm, my favorite!) cheeses, sea food (fish, lobster, shrimp...) and of course absolutely every kind of produce currently in season. The produce was incredibly cheap, too - cherries have lately been about 8 Euro / kilo (a little rich for my blood) but at the market they were about 3! Strawberries, usually around 3E / kilo were more like 2 or even 1,5. The thing is that you really have to eat them right away... I only ate about half my strawberries that day, and the next day half of what was left was moldy... Tant pis.
There were fountains in the middle of the market:
I got a lot of produce. I also intended to get canard (duck) but instead I got canette (duckling)... oops! That evening, I cooked my filets du canette in a marinade made from these ginger preserves I got on one of my first day here... They were marked "ginger raspberry," but if there is any raspberry I can't taste it! So they are ok but certainly not what I was expecting... They did, however, make an excellent marinade. I also made white asparagus (pretty much all the asparagus here is white... green is about three times as expensive!) and rice and a rhubarb tart/pie. Killian came over for dinner because I owed him a meal - friday, he made an enormous vat of his mom's pasta sauce, which was delicious. Alors, evidemment, comme d'habitude nous avons bien mangé!
Before dinner, I also went to visit the musée d'Orsay. The museum opened only about 20 years ago, in a building that used to be a train station:
The interior is really quite impressive. The natural lighting is wonderful, and the central area down the middle is essentially a sculpture garden which is lovely.
The museum has a great collection of nineteenth century painting that I really enjoyed. I came across a few paintings that I wasn't expecting but which were absolutely incredible - Manet's Dejeuner sur l'Herbe, Matisse's Luxe, Calme, et Volupté and a few fabulous Monet's were all great surprises. But what stole my heart was the Cézanne room. They have a pretty incredible collection, spanning across the entirety of his career, and including one of my all-time favorites - Bridge at Mancy. My jaw litterally dropped on multiple occasions looking around that room. Magnificent.
On the top floor, you can see out of the clocks! Here is one:
Note the dome in the background. I am not sure what that building is.
There is also a platform where you can go out and overlook the city. I got very lucky and discovered it just as some blue sky began to peek out through the clouds. The last few days it has been sunny and beautiful, but the last week or so before this we never saw the sun.
People and statues alike look over the city:
Ok, now here was a great moment in my day - this is undoubtedly the best (by which I mean worst) hair I have seen in Paris to date:
In case it is unclear from the picture, this man is balding, but he has one spot near the front of his head where he still has hair... And unlike the traditional comb over or entirely shaved head, he has opted for a sort of double pony-tail...
So that was my Sunday