France - Louvre

This museum is huge, and beautiful from the outside and from within. Some of the images I posted here are from across the street, when my wife and I sat for a while and smoked a cigarette or three. It would take you days and days to go through this museum, and to observe everything properly. Be prepared to walk! I focused mostly on sculpture, because sculpture takes a nice photo. It’s 3-D, I can walk around it and take different views most the time - reliefs are at different topic. More than any place in Paris, this is a must-see! the Eiffel Tower is wonderful, and I’m glad I got to see it, but the Louvre! I need to go back and spend a week to see all the things I missed. The biggest disappointment of my visit, was seeing the Mona Lisa; or should I say not seeing the Mona Lisa? I had no idea the painting was so small, and that viewers were sequestered well away from the painting itself, and quite frankly the Lisa looked about postage stamp size from where I was allowed to look. It is also a very dark painting… it’s almost hard to understand why this painting is so famous? No photos were allowed to be taken of the mysterious lady, but you already know what she looks like. I was completely unimpressed.

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France - Musee d'Orsay

By the time my wife and I had already seen the Louvre and a number of other sites in Paris, I was ready to see another museum. The Musee d’Orsay, is my kind of place. You can find a nice café nearby. you can loiter a bit outside and soak in the surrounding area. The inside is very well lit, and most of the art is completely accessible. you can walk right up to it. Some delicate artwork is under glass, but completely understandable when you see it. This is a museum for the people. Has a bit of a feeling of the theater in the round.
That big clock in the photos, is huge and more reminiscent of Grand Central Station in New York City, than what you would expect here. By all means take a walk through the town, have breakfast or lunch, stop on in.

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France - Notre Dame

This is a piece of Gothic architecture that just would not go away despite its many flaws. We might have to thank Victor Hugo a lot for that, after he published his book The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, in 1831, A lot of people apparently came to appreciate the old style architecture. I can’t hear the words 'Notre Dame' without thinking of Quasimodo, the half blind and deaf bellringer of the Cathedral. Like a lot of architecture in the modern world, you can just walk up to it! Like the Coliseum in Rome and the Empire State building in New York City. There was still a fair amount of traffic going in and out of the Cathedral when I was there. For some reason I thought that the inside had been closed off to the public? There is a beautiful garden just outside. You might find a bench to sit down on? And please watch yourself… there are pickpockets all over Paris, and I had hundreds of euros stolen from me right outside the cathedral. If you do happen to visit Paris, Notre Dame is a must-see. The architecture is wonderful as one would expect, but it’s really a nice place to hang around if the weather is decent and it’s a little warm and sunny like it was on the day I was there. The images I took speak for themselves… you will be looking up a lot!

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A Walk Around Paris

Like a lot of great cities in the world, it is tempting to have a taxi drop you off where you need to be and then have one pick you up and take you back to your hotel at the end of the day. I recommend that while in Paris, you pick a general destination, have a taxi take you there and drop you off, and see if you can walk the rest of the day. You won’t regret it, you’ll see things you would never see on a tour. While walking around Paris, places like the Eiffel Tower are so huge, that it becomes a daunting experience when you see how vast the area is. A beautiful lawn that goes on for football fields, where lovers linger on blankets, and the weary sit in the shade on benches. Depending on which side of the Eiffel tower you’re on, you might have to walk quite a way to get there! The subways in Paris, which are called the Paris Métro or Métropolitain, are a welcome sight to behold. Coming from New York, where the subways are essentially a breeding ground for every infectious disease in the world, the Paris Metro is an unbelievable juxtaposition. There is freaking artwork on the subway platforms! If you did that in New York it would be covered in graffiti in a matter of minutes! The Paris Metro floors are shiny and clean; there is nothing New York about the place. Make sure you visit the Metro, and go somewhere. Anywhere! It’s a beautiful experience. While walking around Paris and getting to know the town better… viewing the shops and the people walking by with their baguettes, is a great way to get to know the town. I saw an drunk sitting on the sidewalk, he might’ve been homeless I don’t know. But only in Paris might you see, someone so destitute and yet drinking such a good wine. Remarkable! One of the best things you’ll find while walking around are the doorways. these are works of art in and of themselves. I became fascinated with many of them and presented here are a few and there are hundreds worthy of framing. So much to see and so little time; and a word to the wise… I saw a Starbucks being built right across from a Parisian café, that had probably been there for hundreds of years. Paris as it is today and as it was, is going away at a modern-day pace. Corporate America will not rest until every place in the world looks the same and taste the same as every other place in the world. get out there now while the going is still good!

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