Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Walking the Streets

There's been a strange end of summer feeling in Paris this week, warm weather and sun much of the time, interspersed with gray skies and sudden downpours.  We went for a walk along the Berges de Seine, the quays that used to be a highway along the river and that have been turned into a pedestrian playground.  The beach chairs remain but the seats are damp from the last rain shower.

The river itself is still a highway however.  Barges cruise along, most of them still carrying cargo, while others are living spaces for nomads who like to wake up somewhere different each morning.  In today's world they take their cars with them.

The establishment of the Berges de Seine has inspired a lot of new eating places along the river.  A few are still open until the end of the month and we were able to have a glass of wine and a snack virtually underneath the Pont Alexandre III.  If you want to be even closer to this bridge, a fancy restaurant/club called Faust has been installed in the pillar of the bridge itself.

The weekend was a real throwback to summer.  Temperatures reached 75F and the city hit the streets.  Café terraces were jammed and the parks full of people on the lawns or stretched out on lounge chairs.  October is very strange this year.

A walk on the Right Bank yesterday took us through the Passage Vero Dodat, one of the classic passages build for middle-class shoppers in the 19th century.  

Most of the shops are galleries and ateliers, and I never seem to be there when these shops are open.  What was open was the major tenant, the shoemaker Christian Louboutin, he of the red soles.  And just adjacent, a shoe repair shop, apparently specializing in these pricy pumps, which will replace your red soles as needed for a mere 96 euros a pop.

He's now moved into the nail polish business apparently.

We tried to drop in to the Louvre for a spare hour (how jaded does that sound?) but forgot it was Monday, the day many other museums including the Musée d'Orsay are closed.  The line to get into the pyramid wound around it and we passed.  After trying another entrance that was not much better we decided that just getting an espresso was the better part of valor.

We've been holding off on going to most of the exhibitions around town at the moment since my sister arrives for a visit this week and we'll go with her.  On the list is the scheduled-to-open-this-week Picasso museum and the new Frank Gehry designed Louis Vuitton museum in the Bois de Boulogne.  This is apparently a soaring glass boat that has been getting a lot of press and I'm anxious to see.  Report to follow.

No comments: