There are days when you travel that, for one reason or another, turn into lazy days. The day Sally and I visited the Orangerie to see Monet’s Waterlilies exhibit was one of those days. We slept in, had a late breakfast and wandered down toward the Place Vendome, Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries Garden and the Louvre.
I think we unconsciously wanted to soak up the vibe of the city.
I can’t begin to tell you how many pictures of doors I took… Their artistry and craftsmanship offer a hint/glimpse of what possibilities await behind those doors. Look at the majesty of their presentation! The freedom of expression in the detailing was something we saw everywhere and is clearly an integral part of French style and design expression.
Often you would see the main entry door assembly preserved, wile the adjacent storefront was quite modern. Here the designers let the door assembly remain the focal point. Well done!!!
Contrasted with this hotel entry. Although perhaps this used to be part of an open arcade and and been filled in at some point in time.
Fabulous “coining” frames these doors.
We took a leisurely stroll thru Place de Vendome. Both the obelisk and The Ritz were undergoing extensive restoration/renovation.
Scaffolding covering the Ritz was printed to mirror the elevation of the building. We saw this where ever there was construction in a public square/place, minimizing the visual disruption of the area. Wish this were done it the USA!
We wandered up Rue de Richelieu and found a lovely bistro full of locals for lunch. (Photo taken later that evening…)
There was a fair amount of people watching done in the Tuileries Garden. This was as close as we got to the Arc de Triomphe. There were only so many places we could visit in the time we had and our ultimate goal of the trip was to get up close and personal with traditional French interiors – to learn and observe as much as we could about that are the basic building blocks of classic French interiors and how do they relate to each other. I had some theories and ideas, I wanted to see how they compared to the “real thing”.
We teased ourselves by walking thru one of the colonnades at the Louvre.
The Orangerie was originally designed to shelter the orange trees planted in the Tuileries garden. In 1921 the Orangerie became an annex to the Musee du Luxembourg. In 1922 Monet signed a contract donating the waterlilies panels to the French government with the intent they ben housed in the Orangerie. The exhibit finally opened to the public in mid 1927.
An two oval shaped rooms were designed specifically for Monet’s paintings. The paintings are breathtakingly beautiful.
As we came out of the museum I couldn’t resist capturing the juxtaposition of the Grand Palais in the distance with the workers erecting a temporary pavilion in the foreground.
Seeing this Ferrari and Lamborghini parked in the Place de la Concorde was a classic reminder of the ever present dynamic tension between old and new.
By this time Sally and I had worked up quite an appetite, so we set off to find Willi’s Wine Bar, where we had a fabulous meal! The wine was pretty darn good, too…
This was where the serious food photography began…
As some of you know, I’m a bit of a wine guy and I took full advantage of the opportunity to try new and different wines. I wish I could find this Voignier from Domaine Roland Grangier in the US.
And for dessert I wanted something different… This lovely wine Vin de Paille from Domaine Pignier in Jura was out of this world! The grapes are picked and sun dried and are not pressed until January/February. The wine is not bottled for several years. It is also known as straw wine. What was it like? Similar to a Sauterne, but with it’s own distinct character and style. Another wine I wish I could find here.
There’s something about night time and the city lights of Paris – an immediacy encouraging you to look closely at your surroundings. As we stepped outside the wooden entry gates to the National Library of France beckoned to us. The building complex is currently undergoing a major renovation.
We wandered back down Rue de Richelieu taking in the sights before we found a cab back to our hotel.
A boutique hotel lobby.
We checked out the competition…
And wished we had the energy to stay up later into the evening…
Tomorrow, the Louvre!
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