Saturday, January 9, 2010

You're Not in California Anymore, Dorothy

An Internet search would tell you that the average Paris temperature in January is 44F. That will change when they factor this year into the equation, I'm sure.  It's cold.

The last few days have been in the mid 20Fs and snow has been intermittent.  It's not lasting long on the ground, but one can easily tell which cars haven't been moved from their parking places in days; they're the ones with snow still piled on the roof and windshield.  The picture above is of part of the planted wall on the Musée Quai Branly, near the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement.  The plants are looking a bit peaked and the watering system isn't coping well with freezing temperatures, leaving icicles hanging from the ferns.

The other day we walked through a light snowfall to the Louvre, thinking it was exactly the right kind of day to spend in a museum; after all, we spent much of the fall putting off museum visits because the weather was too nice to be indoors.  Now the cozy inside was a pleasure that these fellows on the parapet couldn't enjoy.

We headed for the Italian painting section and came across this crowd.

See that little rectangle on the wall at the back?  In front of it is a cleared space into which visitors may not venture, so all these people are standing at least 20 feet from the Mona Lisa, a quite small painting that they can barely see.  Many of them are lifting cameras above their heads to take snapshots proving they've been there.  Meanwhile, about 20 yards away is a DaVinci painting of the Virgin and Saint Anne, whose face appears, at least to me, to be virtually identical with Mona Lisa's.  No one is looking at it.

Although this doesn't really fit in this post, I can't resist sharing it.  Several days ago we were on the Right Bank on our way to yet another museum when we passed this restaurant and I couldn't resist a picture (I don't resist much, do I?).

I imagine the story starts with a knock-off of something like the Hard Rock Café and the failure of that incarnation, followed by an attempt to capitalize on the Japanese tourist business without putting any more money into the decor.  Thus what we have left is this: American Dream Diner, Japanese Bistro, Manga Lounge.

And this is what they serve:

1 comment:

Ken Broadhurst said...

There really is a little bit of absolutely everything in Paris, isn't there? I'm following along even if I don't comment much. Bon courage.