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Paris June 9-11th

I went to Paris mainly to Ken Tiven and his family and to plan a little business with him... but what an excuse to go to Paris!

Click on the pictures for a larger version. (now with slideshow controls)

Monday 6:05am flight from Nice, arrived about 8:30. I don't know why i was suprised but "they" were on strike. The train was slower and dropped me off several stops short (Gare Nord in picture) than I really wanted to go, but the ticket was free. The driver looked like he was skipping class at the local high school. IMG_3267.JPG
I saw this, and I couldn't recall a time I have seen pidgeons sitting in a bush... IMG_3268.JPG
One of the old art deco Paris metro stops. IMG_3269.JPG
IMG_3272.JPGThis is one of several opera houses, but it is also the home of the Academy of Music. There was a nice little protest here the following day. IMG_3270.JPG
Looking down Rue Royal towards Place De La Concorde. There was no one on the streets... it was about 9am. IMG_3273.JPG
The SNCF had this wonderful train display set up along the lower part of the Champs Elysees. It had an interesting collection of historical and modern trains along with informational displays detailing how the routes are built and how the cars work. Ironic that the real trains were not running that day. IMG_3275.JPG
Detail of a 13,500 Euro skirt... IMG_3276.JPG
At 4pm I was to meet a UGA grad freelancing in Paris and her boyfriend at this frou-frou place she had done a story on. It was full of "beautiful people" all wanting to be seen. I of course felt right at home. ;) But it was an experience, the food was good and so was the conversation. IMG_3278.JPG
THE Arc de Triomphe. I can say that because it is the largest one... does that count? IMG_3279.JPG
It was getting hot, so I ducked into Notre Dame. IMG_3280.JPG
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Tuesday began with rain... we all got together at a place called "Breakfast In America" @ #17 Ecoles in the 5th. I thought it would be funny to order French Toast. It was very good though. Afterwards I thought it would be a good day to hit a museum or two. IMG_3308.JPG
It just wouldn't be France without a protest... IMG_3310.JPG
Musełę D'Orsay. Home of mainly 19th-20th century art and an extensive Impressionists collection. Notice the lack of line? Bad sign. Closed due to the general strike. IMG_3312.JPG
This is the ministry of Education. The blue vans in front are cops. I guess they figured this was a logical place for the irate teachers to hit. IMG_3313.JPG
But the Paris Sewer Tour was open (Musełę des Egoł¬ts) located in the 7th, just on the left bank of the Pont de l'Alma. IMG_3320.JPG
Copying from the phamplet...Paris has 2100km of sewer. It processed 1.2million cubic meters of waste water. Yearly it disposes of 15,000 cubic meters of solid waste. The sewers tunnels also house the drinking and non drinking water mains, telecommunication cable as pneumatic tubes... IMG_3321.JPG
Uh, yes it did smell a bit, but it was interesting, and probably something you don't normally think about in a big city. The display shown is over a grate under which is high moving sewage....lovely! They clean out inaccessable pipes using faily simply wooden balls that get sucked through the pipes by just the water pressure behind them... they move the sand and silt along in front of them. Suprisingly low tech but efficient. IMG_3325.JPG
This is a memorial to the Frenchman killed while fighting in Algeria. If I die doing something heroic please don't put my name on a scrolling led panel... IMG_3326.JPG
Guess where this is? IMG_3328.JPG
IMG_3329.JPGClosed until 6:30.... IMG_3335.JPG
Next day (Wed) started off cloudy. I went to the Rodin Museum, but they were not to open for another 30min, so I went around the corner to the Military Museum which is also the location of Napoleans Tomb... IMG_3336.JPG
Despite all the guide books, they were not open until 10am... this is a Parisian tourist from the 1860's who froze trying to figure out the museum schedules... IMG_3338.JPG
So back to Rodin... the museum, due to the general strike, decided only to open the first floor??? and the gardens. Worth it none the less.

I think everyone knows this is "The Kiss". This one is in marble. I did a little reading, still don't have all the facts, but there are apparently three in marble and quite a few in plaster floating around the world.

This is Adam and Eve in the hand of God. IMG_3343.JPG
A commission for La Defense. (I think that is like the Pentagon) IMG_3346.JPG
Another "Standing Man" like the one in Nice... IMG_3347.JPG
"Man With a Broken Nose" IMG_3349.JPG
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The gardens were very nice and it was a great place to see the sculpture... the scale changes when the piece is not confined to a room... but the flowers were also quite spectacular. IMG_3369.JPG
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"Gates of Hell" Rodin kind of turns his sensuality on it's head. Most of hist works were contained in minurature in this piece... originally including "The Kiss", but he later decided that was out of place. IMG_3361.JPG
IMG_3362.JPGDetail from the mantel "The Thinker", and a side panel. IMG_3363.JPG
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Everyone in Atlanta should be familiar with part of this... if not... "Get thee to a museum!" IMG_3365.JPG
IMG_3374.JPGAnd appropriatly sitting off by his lonesome in the garden is "The Thinker". IMG_3375.JPG
The sun in coming out... back to see the tomb of a sun king. IMG_3376.JPG
Yup, no ego here... IMG_3398.JPG
IMG_3377.JPG IMG_3379.JPG IMG_3381.JPG Despite the opulance, and some other unpleasent aspects of Napoleon, his code of law is/was a major force in Western Civ. and the infrastructure he built is still in use today.
Guess who? IMG_3383.JPG
IMG_3384.JPG IMG_3385.JPG IMG_3386.JPG Obviously a lot of emphasis on the military aspect of his "career".
And there is "the man" we all came to see. IMG_3390.JPG
IMG_3389.JPG IMG_3392.JPG IMG_3393.JPG A little cult of personality. I would like to contrast this with Jeffersons humble grave at Montecello... but I guess he didn't conquer by force.
Ok, back to the D'Orsay, which having been closed for three days due to strikes, was pretty hopping considering the tourist season really hasn't started yet. The D'Orsay is an old train station. IMG_3399.JPG
IMG_3401.JPG IMG_3403.JPG IMG_3405.JPGIMG_3408.JPGIMG_3409.JPGIMG_3411.JPG The Impressionists section is always crowded, and no wonder! all the big names are here... let's see...

Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Van Gogh, Van Gogh (Yeah team!) and Renoir.

Hey, you are supposed to be looking at the painting! A Van Gogh painted in Alres (not to far from Nice) depicting the waterfront at night. IMG_3410.JPG
I'll find the title for this one, but a Renoir, considered by some to be the quintissential Impressionist work. Lack of formal structure or grouping, subject manner (common people), use of color to denote volume and form and a focus on light and mood. IMG_3413.JPG
IMG_3415.JPGView from the northern clock tower in the Museum...

If you look hard you can see Sacre Coeur far across the opposite bank.

They had a very small craftsman display, but there were a couple nice FLW pieces. IMG_3420.JPG
Don't know, but I thought the arc of the bow was really cool, especially aginst the roof. IMG_3422.JPG
Don't fall in or you will be... (bad joke) IMG_3425.JPG
This is part of the Palace of Justice/Le Conciergerie tour... just skip it. IMG_3428.JPG
Looking back towards the Palace of Justice and Sainte Chapelle (nex time!) IMG_3432.JPG
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This is the entrance to the Deportation Monument. 200,000 Parisians were sent to camps by the Nazis. They wouldn't let pictures be taken inside, but the actual monument didn't do anything for me. The information on the board outside was much better. Entrance is free. It is located at the south-east tip of the Ile De La Citi, behind Notre Dame. IMG_3434.JPG
And that was it! Just glad they were flying that day...