Friday, March 5, 2010

Walk 8: Marais 2

Today we busted out walks like no other. I have to say I’m pretty proud of us. First I started out with Rosalie, Rich, and Rebecca doing the second Marais Walk, which explores the historic Jewish community of Paris (I felt a little left out since my name didn’t start with an “R”).

After passing by a Jewish synogogue designed by Hector Guimard, the famous Art Nouveau architect, we made a quick stop at a falafel restaurant on the Rue des Rosiers. I gave in and tried a falafel for the first, and possibly last time, today. The falafels themselves were actually really good, but something about the shredded vegetables made me gag (probably because my body doesn’t recognize vegetables as food any more – our host family never eats them). The memorial plaque for victims of the Holocaust at the Jewish elementary school we saw next made me think of one of my favorite French films, Au Revoir Les Enfants. The Hôtel de Soubise and Hôtel Rohan, which came next on our agenda, but since we had so many walks left to get done, we decided to just look around outside. The research-lover deep within me really wants to come back someday, since these Hôtels house the French National Archives.

The Musée Cognacq-Jay ended up being really interesting because of its 18th-century furniture and design. I really excited to discover that, thanks to art history class in the Louvre, I recognized the artwork of many of the French painters Valerie has taught us about. Now that I’ve given a presentation on Greuze, I felt the need to take the pictures of his paintings at the museum. If you ever want a random lesson about him, just let me know – I’ve got all kind of random facts floating around in my head. Unfortunately, our art education for the day had to end there, since the Musée Picasso is closed for the next two years. Incidentally, if you ever plan on coming to Paris, come in 2012, the year when all kinds of restoration projects around the city will be done.

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