Saturday, October 15, 2011

A mixed day--in the best sense of the word: Part 2

    What I really want to blog about is some of the other stuff we've been up to but (favourite French expression alert) tant pis, I've written myself into a corner by titling the previous post "Part 1."
    Refueled on Vietnamese sandwiches, Peter and I set off in different directions, him to sketch, me to visit the Musée de Carnavalet and to swing by the Petit Bateau store to replace the Petit Bateau black T-shirt that has vanished into some other dimension. P.S. I didn't buy one after all, as I know that damn T-shirt's somewhere back in Léran.

    Long shadows, back-lit hair...the low, mid-afternoon light turned every narrow street into something visually wonderful. Invariably slim, everyone out on the streets looked like a model. Speaking of which, the fashion buzzwords right now are black, jeans, boots, anything oatmeal-coloured, a scarf of course, and flashes of scarlet or orange.

  Glad I'd worn my jeans and black jacket for the umpteenth time, I sped over to the Musée de Carnavalet which, on my list of Paris museums, is definitely in the top three. For a start, it's free. It also feels friendlier than most museums. I'm thinking of the attendant who, seeing me preparing to take a photo through a partially opened window, opened it all the way. 
     Mind you, the views are delightful even when the windows are closed. Don't you love those pale gum-drop colours in the glass? What also makes this museum special is that its collection is housed in a couple of magnificent mansions linked by very formal gardens.

     Grand staircases, over-the-top murals, wrought iron banisters... I'd be happy to wander around here for hours because you really do get a feel for what like must have been like for the French aristocracy in past centuries. I especially like the patterned wood floors. You can imagine all kinds of naughtinesses in the night being betrayed by a sudden squeak.
   Think how these old shop signs must have looked when they hung out over the narrow streets of Paris.

    What's on display is a real mix. Models of Paris, detailed room settings, paintings, add this one to your list the next time you're in Paris.

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