March 24, 2006

Au Revoir Paris

This was one of the very few breaks of sunshine in an otherwise dark and rainy day. Thought the clouds over Notre Dame were dramatic.

We are leaving Paris tomorrow to see some colleagues in Germany, so this will probably be my last Parisian update. We are sitting at our favorite location, the Cafe Mondrian, blogging to the beat of American 1960's pop music and enjoying a final kir, before meeting friends for dinner. It has been a wonderful stay, despite the lousy weather and the constant student demonstrations.

You may have read that yesterday was a particularly bad day here in Paris with outside agitators coming in to really stir up some violent protests. Fortunately, yesterday's activity was centered near Les Invalides, in the 7th Arrondissement, and we did not have much action here, but we did have another HUGE police presence.

Today we visited the Louvre to see a wonderful retrospective "Ingres". It was a 45 minute wait to get in, but really spectacular. I am not a huge Ingres fan, but some of his work is really impressive. For instance, his portraits of Napoleon I's Coronation are amazing, and his "Odalique" series of female nudes in the bath or reclining are very sensual and beautiful. The Frick Collection lent it's famous portrait of the lady in the blue dress, and she had pride of place in a room full of outstanding female portraits.

I am sorry to be leaving Paris after such a nice time, but happy to come home and looking forward to the next time.

Next stop... Frankfurt!

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