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on walking in the rain in the jardin des tuileries after a visit to the louvre

On the day I went to the Louvre Museum it rained. I had not planned it that way, that is, first checking the weather forecasts.

Generally, I think museums should be visited during inclement weather, especially in Paris. I can afford to reserve those rainy days for the museums, because I am in Paris for longer periods than the typical visitor.

However, and I am contradicting myself, I do not stay in a museum for much longer than two hours, maybe three. So, I am eventually outside in the rain, sleet, snow anyway that day.

Because I am in Paris for longer periods than is typical, I can afford to visit the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay or other popular museums for two to three hours; I can always return another day.

But, saying all that, I would still visit those museums for two to three hours anyway, even if I had only a few days in Paris. They are exhausting, and after a period of time, let’s say two to three hours, what I see later, if I stay longer, becomes a blur and the people begin to push more and the rooms begin to look more like mazes than exhibits.

As I mentioned, I went to the Louvre the other day and it rained. Before going to the Louvre or any other large museum, such as the Musée d’Orsay, I plan the visit. I look at the weather conditions, and hope for the worst. (Well, not really.)  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

For example, my favorite rooms lately at the Louvre, the red rooms, are those that exhibit the large, very large paintings of Géricault, Delacroix, and David. Think big with Le Radeau de la Méduse or La Liberté guidant le peuple or Sacre de l’empereur Napoléon 1 et couronnement de l’impératrice Joséphine dans la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, le 2 décembre 1804.

But wait, there’s more!

on seeing the newly covered arc de triomphe & eating at a fave franchise

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris has been wrapped temporally with cloth. It is an art project first dreamed up in 1961 by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The Arc de Triomphe sits at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle which is at the western most reach of  l’avenue des Champs-Élysées.

On the day I went (Saturday), the Champs-Élysées was closed to traffic, foot traffic was allowed as well as bicycles, and all the artery avenues and streets that lead into the Place Charles de Gaulle were blocked to prevent traffic onto the Place.

When I say that the Place Charles de Gaulle was blocked, I mean the entire Place was cordoned off, even for pedestrians who may have wanted get closer to the Arc de Triomphe and look at the installation more closely.

In order to get past the security and move onto the Place Charles de Gaulle, one needs a passe sanitaire, which states you have been vaccinated for Covid with two doses, or a Covid test within the previous 72 hours. Several testing tents were set up around the Place to aid those who are not vaccinated.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

The French government is serious with its efforts to fight the virus. No one can eat in a restaurant in France without the passe sanitaire or without a recent Covid test. Despite the open space on the Place Charles de Gaulle and the moderately crowded area near the Arc de Triomphe, the government was taking no chances and, at the same time, telling its citizens that they have an obligation to help protect others if they intend to congregate.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)  But wait, there’s more!

on some favorite images taken while walking the streets of paris

Walking the streets of Paris, wandering as a flâneur, is a favorite pastime. I carry a camera every day. I might take a bus one day to a far away section of Paris, but once I begin walking again I explore and I look for some interesting images to capture.

I have walked many—most—streets. Once I bought a large map, the size you might tack to a wall. I decided to pencil in the streets I walked that day. It was like writing in a diary. I found the map the few years later. It was criss-crossed with lines.

Somewhere in my archive of photographs I have pictures taken of those walks.

I decided to look at some of the photographs I have taken recently in the streets of Paris and think more about why I like them.

This image was taken in the Marais district in Paris. I had just eaten lunch at Les Philosophes, a favorite bistrot in that part of Paris. I was walking along Vieille du Temple when I saw the woman step out of the shop and stand in the doorway. She looked like she might be from a year other than 2021, her hair, the style of her dress and blouse, and then the black and white settings in the camera further suggests a sense of timelessness. I like that the light has formed a V-shape that helps frame her. Her light blouse against the darkness in the shop focuses the attention on her.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)  But wait, there’s more!

on wanting to buy a chic watch at the newly opened chic department store in the center of chic paris, la samaritaine

My latest Fitbit watch seemed a bit dépassé, as one would say in French, a bit old fashioned, and I was looking for something—what?—a bit more eye catching, something that might cause a pedestrian, walking by, to stop and think or maybe even exclaim, “Say what!!!?”

My cargo pants are a bit warn, frayed around the ankles, after several years of use. One zipper will close a pocket half way. A stain near the waist line is hardly noticeable. It came from a wonderful meal at a Michelin reviewed restaurant, not a starred one, which would have made it—the stain—even more memorable. Consequently, I needed an upgrade to my wardrobe.

And, as long as I was considering new pants, a good shirt could be purchased, with a label that was worthy of leaving above the collar, accidentally, of course. Not that I would want to drop names, but if I was going to spend a few bucks on some clothes, I might as well express some pride in my attire.

I was not sure that I would wear my new wardrobe out the store. What would I do with my pants that has a small hole near the left top pocket where the boxers show when I walk too fast? I did not want to wrap my bundle of clothes and put them under my arms. I might look like a homeless person. I might look like I was shoplifting.

My intention then was to look for a Gucci bag, maybe one with Tom Wood’s name on it. If he made bags. With his name on them. Does Prada sell bags big enough for my old clothes, I wondered?  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)  But wait, there’s more!