It is hard to believe that I was in India just a mere 5 days ago, it is days like this that I know I am a very lucky gal. I am here in Paris with two very, very dear friends Julie and Kristen, it is a three day stop on our way to skiing at Courcheval.
We arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport at 10:30 this morning, after checking into our VRBO at 12 Rue Malar we headed out to stay ahead of jet lag. We decided to walk the Seine to Ile de la Cite for a bite to eat and an audio tour of Notre Dame.
The thing I love about Paris is that art is everywhere. Sure there are the most magnificently ornamented buildings and statues every 3 feet, but there is also art that just randomly pops up. These blue dots were on the quai as you walked along.
Farther down the Quai, you found more random patterns.
And then these….The sign read: Berlin-based Evol, is best known for transforming everyday features of our cityscapes into miniature concrete tower blocks through the medium of paint. Inspired by architecture, which he sees as a mirror for society, he paints directly onto the surface of electric enclosures, concrete planters and other familiar elements of the modern city. Many works by Evol refer to the postwar socialist architecture of the former East Germany. Although originally constructed with the ideology of a socialist utopia, areas of this city are, architecturally a far cry from the original vision. Many of the LEGO-like buildings Evol depicts are grey functional and in a style that has fallen out of favor, yet they have a brutalist monument appeal. The artists draws our attention to the striking geometry of the suburban architecture, bringing it back in the more picturesque memory of the city centers, installing there small monuments of a social dystopia.
I was in LOVE with these, notice the satellite dishes and the air-conditioning units, they are magical.
This is the bridge of locks (so to speak). I have seen these “Love padlocks” all over the world, but never quite such a large agglomeration.
Basically, a couple writes their names on a padlock and locks it onto the bridge. They then throw the key into the Seine as a symbol of their undying love.
Last year, the locks on the Pont des Arts were cut off, reportedly by the government, a futile gesture, as the locks can now be seen on two Paris bridges: Pont des Arts and Pont de l’Archevêché.
What would ones first day in Paris be without a bottle of champagne, a couple of baguette mixtas and some macarons. It was pretty windy and cold, but fun none-the-less.
Next stop, Notre Dame. We took a rather confusing audio tour, possibly more because jet-lag was really starting to set in, or maybe because the accompanying map needed work, but the real reason we were there was to light candles and say a little prayer for absent loved ones.
Julie and Kristen headed back to the apartment to catch a quick nap before dinner, and I met my Paris friend Natalie Titley for coffee. She showed me where, absent the brass plaque, the center of Paris is, right in front of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Dinner tonight is Les Bouquinistes, absolutely amazing dinner.
And a final evening stroll