You may be wondering where this blogger was…
Earlier this month I left Boston for an unexpected trip to France. Or, rather, I should say this was an expected trip with no pre-determined date…My father in-law, ailing with cancer, passed away. I adored him. The circumstances of his death were such (a year after his wife) that the whole family left for Paris on Passover/Easter weekend. The boys, my husband and I simply had to say goodbye. Goodbye to an era, to a wonderful and joyous man-the family rock-, goodbye to a beloved home, a source of happy memories for our boys and family. How many BD or “bandes dessinées” (Graphic Novels are an institution in France) were read in the attic, nibbling on crunchy “cornets à la pistache” (pistachio ice cream cones), sprawled out on the floor? How many times did we sit out on the bench in the yard to enjoy the magnolias, the collection of roses, the lilacs, the lovingly cared for garden of this retired couple?
The house was like an empty seashell. No one to greet us, no more smells of delicious meals being prepared in the French kitchen, no laughter, no naps with les “mots croisés” (crossword puzzles) seated next to grandpa and grandma. We went through the motions, buried our beloved, met with family, and tried to drink in the home one last time. My teenage son took detailed photographs of every possible angle of the house, from the views from the windows, to the cherished furniture to moss growing on the stone steps.
We had one uplifting goal: After the funeral, we would all go to Paris spend the day. We had a fabulous day! Nothing like Paris to uplift the spirits. Such beauty!
As I take you along this tour of the museum, note the gorgeous and gigantic “horloges” (clocks). Of course trains needed to be on time, and horloges such as these gigantic ones helped travelers but also Parisians check the time.
On the Musée d’Orsay website, one can find this bit of history: In the centre of Paris on the banks of the Seine, opposite the Tuileries Gardens, the museum was installed in the former Orsay railway station, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. So the building itself could be seen as the first “work of art” in the Musee d’Orsay, which displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914.
We were not allowed to take photographs of the art, but it is well worth a detour next time you visit Paris.
Upstairs, there is a gallery with a gigantic clock offering breathtaking views of Paris:
And now, for the grand finale! We were able to go eat at the Café Campana, a superb contemporary space created by the Campana Brothers, a Brazilian Designing duo, to replace the Café de l’Horloge, which was originally in the space.
Imagine an esoteric, whimsical design, with gigantic bell shaped golden light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, strange, curly red metal partitions, another massive “clock-window”, upright sea blue metallic sheets acting as walls here and there, unusually shaped chairs and simply delicious patisseries:
I could not stop raving about the designs! Such whimsy brought smiles to our faces and were the perfect antidote to our mournful spirits.
Au Revoir, Paris!