October 13, 2010

Autumn in Paris

I wonder if Vernon Duke had experienced "Autumn in Paris" before he composed "Autumn in New York" in 1934? Because if he had been in Paris now, he would never have looked anywhere else for inspiration! Absolutely classic fall weather with crisp, cool sunshine and an energy that speaks of the start of a new and invigorating season!

The chestnut tree leaves are turning brown and falling but bright red geraniums still bloom in window boxes everywhere. The air is just cool enough to warrant wearing a smart jacket and scarf to stroll along the boulevard and maybe have a café outdoors under a heater lamp. It's a great time to be here!

Well, maybe not a perfect time as the general strikes that have plagued France for the past few weeks continue with on-going disruptions of public transportation and consequently interruptions in services and deliveries. A strike had been called for Tuesday which made getting around very difficult with protesters marching against raising the retirement age to 62.

Nevertheless, with some strategic planning I was able to cross from the Left Bank to the Right and back again to visit some colleagues, but going to a museum was out of the question as they were closing without notice to (a) sympathize with the strikers and (b) allow their employees to find a way home under the difficult circumstances.

The major museum exhibition in Paris at the moment is a huge Monet retrospective at the Grand Palais. We've all seen countless paintings of waterlilies and the Japanese bridge, but this show promises to be very special with over 200 works, many of which had not been seen by the public in a very long time. I had every intention of seeing it right away until I discovered that the timed entry tickets are sold out until November! Any doubt that the French are still die hard museum-goers can be laid to rest with this one. So tomorrow morning I am planning to get an early start and stand in line for admission. Naturally, I'll post a report and we'll see if all the anticipation was worth while!

After another lovely day it's time to go to dinner. I think tonight calls for a classic "plateau de fruits de mer" a feast of shellfish accompanied by a dry Sancerre! A bientôt!

No comments: