Saturday, February 6, 2010

Walk 5: Place de la Concorde

I saw Monet today! Well, not the painter, obviously, given that he’s a little bit dead, but I got to see his paintings! I love Monet! Okay, that’s enough exclamation points for now.

Wait, maybe I need a few more exclamation points because I had an Audrey moment today. I got to “step out on the Champs Elysée,” just like she does in Funny Face! And I saw the stamp market from Charade! And I also might have been near Carla Bruni, since I went past her house! What a great day.

Okay, I’m going to focus now.

The walk started outside the Elysée, which is the French equivalent of the white house (and home to my favorite French singer and, oh yeah, that president guy she married) and then went past various embassies and ritzy boutiques (think Cartier, Hermes, and Chanel). Everything was going well until I tried to take a picture of the U.S. Embassy. Turns out that this is not a good idea. Guards will come after you. They will make you delete your photos. They have guns.

After my narrow escape from a lifetime in French prison for suspected terrorist affiliations, we saw the Place de la Concorde, which was built to honor Louis XV, but is better known as the home of the infamous guillotine. Yup, this was where Marie Antionette, Robespierre, and 1343 friends lost their heads. It’s also the home of an obelisk that I’m pretty sure the Egyptian government wants back. And it was the sight of a modeling shoot when we were there – what’s more Parisian than that?

Then came the best part – The Orangerie! We spent very little time in the Jardin des Tuileries, since it had started raining, but I didn’t mind since I was in a hurry to see Monet’s work for the first time. We saw paintings by Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, and others as well, but my heart belongs to Claude. The Nymphéas (water lilies) were breath taking, not to mention enormous. Take a look:

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