Sunday, November 27, 2011

Upcoming Paris Trip December 2011

My family and I return to Paris for Xmas and this time it will be different. Ironically, we relax more when in Paris than we do in NJ and there's slightly more going on in Paris than in NJ...ya think?Here's a list of some of the things I want us to do this trip -- this is a work in progress(negotiation). Love to hear adds or deletes from people.Music:--Paris is one of the great music cities of the world and my wife and I really want to listen to live music at Saint Chapelle because (a) it is one of our favorite churches -- it is reportedly among the most beautiful in the world and for us, the proportions of it (compared to more massive or modern structures like Sacre Coeur) make it very warm, sweet and ancient-feeling and (b) the thought of hearing chamber music in a chamber, as was the intent, is always appealing to us. Not sure the kids are psyched but tough, they'll thank us later (or not)--Music Appreciation -- being my kid isn't easy and that too is tough! My kids need to sit tight and both hear the music of and the life story of Miles Davis (focus on Kind of Blue) and Gershwin (focus on American in Paris -- cliche but so what -- and Rhapsody in Blue) (I may make them watch the movie) and Coltrane (focus on Love Supreme). Where better to do this than while walking down rue Dauphin, one of our favorite streets and the home of one of our favorite restaurants, Yugaraj? Why rue Dauphin? Well, that's where Miles and others first played live beebop in France as it was then home to great jazz clubs and mere steps from cafe life and the publishing district on the left bank (6eme). U2 and Dylan also seem like good calls for this trip.It feels like we should hear live Jazz. Still working on that!Museums:I love the smaller museums, especially those that enable us to better understand how the French lived at the time. One of the most touching, for me, is Nissim de Camondo. It tells an incredible story of beauty, sadness and history. Years after my first visit, I found the following blogpost, which I think does a lovely job of explaining this museum: Louvre: Most importantly, for those of us who aren't early risers, the Louvre is open late a few nights and the crowds are apparently pretty thin at night: Wednesday, Friday: from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Check here for their hours (in English):, this exhibit on Alexander the Great looks cool, ends in January and will likely be a nice counterpoint to our more contemporary bent when it comes to art viewing: This Delacroix also might be fun: Palais de la Decouverte: -- apparently a killer science museum with no real lines/waits! Check out this blog post: We adore the Cluny (or the Museum of the Middle Age) but that could have more to do with bird crap than unicorns (it's famous for unicorn tapestries). On our family's first visit, a bird shat upon my wife's hair. Every single time we pass, my kids scream (or I do) to remind my wife of the "Cluny Moment" and we all break into laughter. I'm reminded of the great quote from recently deceased French film director, Claude Chabrol (as quoted by the NYTimes): "Referring to the uneven critical reception of his work, Mr. Chabrol is said to have remarked, 'You have to accept the fact that sometimes you are the pigeon, and sometimes you are the statue.'" cite: his obit in the NYT, which is well worth the read: day, my lovely wife was indeed the statue!

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