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Guimard, Monet, and Vivaldi

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I've always wanted to go see Hector Guimard's buildings in the 16th, since I'm only familiar with the synagogue in the Marais and of course his Art Nouveau metro entrances, those pale green swirls and medallions. After some juggling bus and metro maps, we realised that there's a bus from Alesia that runs through the 14th, 15th and 16th. It made for a great ride, letting us see many different residential areas. We got off, and walked over to see Guimard's Castel Beringer, built between 1895-8. Very cool building, in a pretty neighborhood (except for the unnattractive modern building right across the street). Fantastic layers of different brickwork, iron, seahorse details, and even leaded glass wondows. The best view is the side, into the courtyard where you can see how he played with angles and materials. I've read that he even designed the interiors, and man, what I wouldn't give to see inside one of those apartments.
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We followed the walk from Paris Walks, finding many more Guimard buildings in the neighborhood, There's a whole block by him on rue Agar.

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Beau Arts swirls and carvings on older buildings, and some interesting examples of more modern architecture--tiled buildings from the 30's, some Deco, a very cool block of 20's modern with cubist stained glass on a side street.

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We also found Corbousier's twin villas down a private stree, but they were closed for renovation. Along the way we got an amazing almond and chocolate croissant and coffee, and later had a good lunch in a friendly cafe on Avenue Mozart.We also had a funny interaction with an elderly woman who made sure we knew where Proust's birthplace was, pointed out other things of interest, and who would have probably have taken us home given the opportunity.

We cut through the park to the Musee Marmottan. Lovely collection of Monets, Berthe Marisot, a room of fantastic illuminated manuscripts, rooms of fancy furnishings, and an interesting special exhibit of contemporary art on the top floor. After some time on a shady bench, we made our way across Paris to home for a rest.

We had bought tickets for a 7 pm concert at St.Chapelle. The sun was shining through the west wall of windows, and the colors were amazing. We heard a string ensemble and harpiscord play some of the classical world's Pop tunes--Pachabel's Canon, and Vivaladi's Four Seasons. The acoustics were excellent, and it was a lovely experience.

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We wandered around a bit around the back end of the island.

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For dinner we went to Wadja, a small bistro in the 6th. They were out of our choice for an entree, carpaccio of dourade. Oh well, Basque-style peppers stuffed with eggplant mousse were nice and light. I had the chance to have one of my Paris traditions--foie de veau (calves liver). Now before you say Yuck, this is not your mother's horrible stinky liver. Wadja's version was particularly nicely seared yet pink inside, served with buttery pureed carrots and potatoes. Larry had a special of layers of ground lamb and vegetables, sort of a French moussaka that he really liked. We shared a warm chocolate cake on coffee sauce. Sorry for no photo!

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Comments (3)

Your photo of Pont Neuf from Quai des Orfevres brings back so many memories of our last trip! I miss having that sight to sigh over every morning when I went to the market.

What a lovely day you had! I really do need to get to Paris one of these days.

sandrac:

Wow -- that is some extraordinary architecture. I, too, would love to see inside a few of those apartments.

Wonderful photos!

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