Thursday, October 2, 2008

Weather or not


The weather has changed and fall has arrived with its rainy mornings and fallen leaves. Walking through the Place des Vosges on the way to the Victor Hugo museum we stepped on broken chestnut pods and avoided puddles. The museum has been on the To Be Visited list for some time but we always seemed to go by when it was closed. It's essentially the second floor of one of the gorgeous buildings that form the Place: arcades on the ground floor and red brick and stone above. Hugo lived here for longer than he lived in any other single place and an admirer gave it to the state in 1902 for a museum, along with many of the pictures and furniture he had bought back from the forced auction of Hugo's effects when he went into exile for political refuge after objecting to the Restoration.

The next day alternated between clouds and sunshine, shifting every few minutes. This time we went to the Fondation Cartier to see an exhibit of the French sculptor C├ęsar organized by Jean Nouvel, the architect who designed the space, along with many of the other best new buildings in Paris. One of my favorite things about this exhibition space is the fact that a glass wall separates the entry garden from the street so that when you are inside the garden it appears that the street life is the interior while you are outside looking in at it.

After a long walk home and a nap, we took a bus across town to dinner at the home of friends of friends, an American who has lived in Paris for 38 years and his French partner. The views from the bus changed as we drove through various neighborhoods, but the Seine is always spectacular, even when it's just a background for a phone call on the way home from work.

This morning the sun is bright again, although there are a few white clouds moving in; we're going out to take advantage of it while it lasts.

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