Saturday, March 5, 2011

Marie-Antoinette's dreamy estate

I've seen the castle of  King Louis IV in Versailles before and I still can't get over the feeling up to this day.
 It is grand, wealthy, ostentatious, decadent and magnificent.
Marie-Antoinette was lucky to have hooked up with a fashionable and wealthy king of France.
They were both very young. Marie-Antoinette was a teenager when she married the King. 
So imagine the power that was bequeathed you. 
It completely consumed the Queen that she got out of touch with the real off with their heads. 
They were the last royalty who lost their heads in the heart of Paris. 
At first, I rationalized the Queen's shortcomings and weaknesses. 
But the moment I visited her Trianon and Hamlet,
 I saw the light. She was a queen who staged her passion for being a peasant. How? 
She had a dreamy estate built to satisfy her caprice.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau

portrait of Cocteau by Andy Warhol
5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963 was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager, playwright, artist and filmmaker.

My visit with my sister Monica who lives in Fontainebleau was an adventurous vacation. She lives in one of the most historical places on earth so she and I together with our eldest sister who is visiting from Hawaii keep discovering interesting people and impressive places. One morning, we were in Milly-la-Forêt, a small village where she always buy her freshly baked, hot and crusty baguette when we chanced upon a new museum. It was just newly inaugurated and just opened its doors to the public so we decided to go in and see what's in store for us. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

St. Denis and Canal St. Martin and Rue La Fayette in Paris

I wanted to see Canal St. Martin because I've seen paintings of it by famous artists. Somewhere along the way to the canal, we got lost but it didn't matter because we enjoyed our walk. We finally arrived at Poisson Rouge for some cappuccino and pastry. After our photo shoots by the canal, Zen and I needed some retail therapy so we continued our walk along Rue La fayette to go to Gallerie La Fayette and Printemps.

Before we embarked on our journey to the Canal, we had lunch in this Indian restaurant. 
This is an Indian neighborhood where you can find authentic curry and tangine dishes served with my fave, chutney. I'm crazy for curry food. Gotta have it.

aside from curry dishes, they also sell a lot of other things typical of their culture.

Walking Tour of the Latin Quarter

Finding something to do is not hard when in Paris. One early morning, my sister and I joined a walking tour of the Latin Quarters in the west bank where artists, writers, students and intellectuals hang out and live. It is rich in prose and poetry where novels like Cyrano de Bergerac and Les Miserables rule.

The piazza in front of Notre Dame Cathedral
 where the colors of the trees are beginning to change in September.

The sisters in front of Notre Dame

Sorbonne University. The French pay a ridiculously inexpensive amount of money to study here.

This is a statue in front of Sorbonne University. Students touch the gold shoes and wish for them to pass their exams and they do. Go figure.
In order to save on taxes, they have small windows
 for the sunlight 
to come in through the kitchen.

If you notice the different sizes of the windows, 
there's a reason for that in the old times.
 They used to tax you on your windows. 
The bigger the window, the higher your tax.

This is an old, small bookstore where Shakespeare used to live. They require him to work for free lodging. He can also read one book a day and he should write novels for the bookstore. 
the owner of this bookstore was Sylvia Beach, who in the 20s, saw to it that James Joyce's "Ulysses" got published. Up to now, there are a number of transient workers there that work for the bookstore for them to live in one of the corner alcove that become bedrooms when the store closes.
This was the apartment where Dante Alighieri, the Italian writer, lived. He also was a serious student of Christian theology in Paris.
a very narrow street typical of the streets of Paris
Paris....tres jolie!!