Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Galerie Vivienne, Montmartre

Sunday, 29 June

I am sorry to say the 29th was not a very exciting day. I visited the market in the morning, and I brought my friend Julie, who is also in the BU program with me. We got plently of food - cherries, peaches, watermelon for her, and ingredients for a pretty serious dinner for me. Killian and I had been talking about making salmon for a while, especially now that we're seafood experts, so I got salmon filets and lemon and green beans for dinner, and rhubarb for dessert. It was Julie's first trip to the market, so we spent probably an hour wandering around, being flâneuses, trying to compare prices and pick the best looking fruit. I of course went to my favorite vendor, who I am pretty sure told only charged me 1 E for my 1/2 kilo of cherries and peaches. I am a little bit in love with this man.

After the market, I spent several hours working on my rapport de stage - my internship report - which I have probably mentioned previously, perhaps in rather colorful terms, is the bane of my existence. (Tomorrow morning, to cut to the present day, I will have a short oral presentation on my rapport, and then it will really be DONE, merci à Dieu.) Ah well, c'est la vie.

For dinner, Killian and I had planned on having a few friends over, so I got food to cook for 4... And then the others were lame (and idiots) and bailed so we ended up with a lot of food. We did baked salmon filets that had been marinated in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Delicious. To go with that, we had rice and green beans, and I made a rhubarb crumble for dessert. It was all incredible, and I must admit I rather overate, but it is hard to regret that.

Monday, 30 June

Since I had done enough work on my rapport the day before, I was able to take most of my Monday, before I had my atelier de rapport de stage (my report workshop) to see a little of Paris. I walked down to the BHV - the Bazar de Hôtel de Ville :

I had heard they had "everything" here.... This is not an exaggeration. The lowest level is perfumes and bath products and some clothing. The next floor is... books, and art supplies. And then above that, bathroom and bedroom furnishings. Then kitchen utensils and appliances. I did not go further up, but I believe there was a restaurant at the top and presumably at least one more fashion level as men's fashions were housed in an entirely separate building. It was kind of incredible to find so many diverse products under one roof. Such as this serious piece of hair equipment :

I would almost be a little afraid to put that to my head!

For lunch I strolled over the Galerie Vivienne, one of the passages I had visited with my class. I am not sure how good of a job I did describing the passages, as I didn't take any pictures during class, so here is perhaps a better job at explaining them - built during the first half of the 19th century, they are hallways through city blocks roofed in glass and iron, with shops on the ground level and apartments above. Galerie Vivienne is today the most beautiful and best preserved of the passages, of which there are about 30 in Paris. Here is the view from the entrance on rue des Petits Champs :

Galerie Vivienne is simply lovely, with its mosaic floors and the relief ornamentation across the surfaces of the walls. There is a dome between a few of the "rooms" of the passage. There used to be a statue of Mercury, the god of commerce, in the middle of this round room :

I had lunch at A Priori Thé, which was recommended by Isab you can see in the distance here :

I got the tarte salée du jour (the savory tart of the day) for my plat principal :

I am not sure what type it was precisely ("Niçoise," I believe, whatever that implies. Beyond, of course, the fact that it comes from Nice.) It was more or less like pizza, but on a pie crust - covered in cheese, with tomatoes.

For dessert, they offer half portions, which was great. I tried their crumble aux fruits rouges, which was impeccable, as well as this café :

Comme c'est joli ! (Isn't it pretty?)

After my lunch, I went over to the BU center for my atelier. Afterwards, I have class on Mondays. However, last Monday was another visit, so I headed over to Montmartre a little before class to check it out a little on my own before our tour with the class. Montmartre is one of the few neighborhoods I knew a little about before I arrived in Paris - mostly because of the movie Amelie. But there are actually several reasons that most people are probably familiar with Montmartre, such as Pigalle and the famous... :

Or this beautiful church, built at the top of the butte de Montmartre (there's a reason it's named a "mountain"!), Sacré Coeur :

Or maybe also the view that you gain from climbing up to see this church (note this view is from standing in front of the church, not from up in the towers of the church) :

Now it is easy to understand why Sacré Coeur is always the easiest monument to pick out when you first gain a little elevation in Paris - it really overlooks the entire city!

There are, however, less well known reasons to love Montmartre, such as, say :

Or this truck, just chilling in the street :

And this restaurant, for my art historical friends :

While Montmartre is an area very linked to the artistic world, Durer was a prominent figure on the art scene about 300 years before Montmartre's significance.

In case you get tired of climbing all of Montmartre's many, many hills, you can always take the little tram :

This was probably my favorite of the visits we made for class. Going through the city with Lionel was great, because he was able to point out so many great places and passes off the beaten tourist track. Montmartre was really the site of the avant garde in Paris at the end of the 19th and early 20th century, and during our tour, Lionel casually pointed out, you know, Renoir's house, Picasso's favorite café, and the apartment where Picasso painted the Desmoiselles d'Avignon. You know, no big deal.

It was really cool to have more of an insider's view of the area. And I loved when suddenly a breathtaking view of the city would appear between the buildings :

Lionel told us that, while Montmartre was a favorite of the artists because it was inexpensive (you know, very undesirable (or desirable?) to live near those Pigalle prostitutes), today it is very, very expensive to have an apartment here due to their incredible view of the city. All in all, with all of the hills, it would certainly not be where I would choose to live. It was, nevertheless, a wonderful visit.

After class, Killian and I finished our leftovers from the night before, which was yet again delicious. Afterwards, I returned home to work on my paper that was due in class for Thursday. Only three pages, but all in French and with very little motivation... This whole school work in summer thing is getting a little old. I really enjoy the content of the class, but this whole pesky writing and exam thing.... (I have my final on Friday, and then that will be over too!)

While my internship and class are over as of today, I still have, as I said, my oral presentation for my rapport du stage tomorrow and my final exam Friday. (wish me luck!) Then I have the weekend and Monday to get as much in as I can and enfin, je pars mardi! : ( Le temps se passe assez vite! (I leave Tuesday, the time goes by quickly!)

I am sure I will be able to catch up and finish everything with this blog once I am back in Baltimore on the 15th.

En tout cas,

à bientôt !


Celine Marie said...

enjoy the rest of your stay :) you me and jen will have to go gallavant across europe together one day...plan? i plan to try to work in europe for a bit next summer, maybe we can work it out. or something....

I need orange said...

The gallerie is lovely. I want your lunch! "Salade nicoise" is potatoes, green beans, olives, and tuna, on lettuce (not positive about the lettuce). I don't know about tarte nicoise.

I need orange said...

Amazing views.

Cool how they used Durer's initials (the way he signed them) on the end of the awning.........

I need orange said... blogged a toy store last Friday, and when she showed a pic of the outside of the store, it was clearly in a galerie, and the floor looks a lot like what you have shown us here.

The toy store is called Si Tu Veux.

That square brown goody in your excellent coffee shot looks just like brownie. I don't suppose that's what it is.... Inquiring minds want to know...??