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Report 2040: Paris au Ralenti (Paris in Slow Motion)

By Doru from Canada, Fall 2012

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Page 13 of 19: Tuesday, 25 September - Canaletto at Musée Maillol: Acqua Alta in Paris?; rue du Bac

photo by Doru

Musée Maillol on rue de Grenelle, recently restaured and reopened

A look outside and there is an immediate need to confirm that it ain’t so: more rain?

The Weather Network is pretty clear on this account:

  • Morning: cloudy with showers;
  • Afternoon: cloudy with showers;
  • Evening: cloudy with showers;
  • Overnight: cloudy with showers;
  • Wednesday morning: Probability of precipitation 80-90%.
Bury the head under a bunch of pillows and go back to sleep? Or show character and decisiveness and confront a rainy Paris?

We had in our sights a visit at the recently reopened Musée Maillol, on rue de Grenelle, which would also bring us to the historic Rue du Bac, one of the most attractive and interesting streets in Paris.

In keeping with the unrelenting rain and the theme of water, the current exhibition at Musée Maillol is dedicated to “Canaletto à Venise.” The idea of “acqua alta” makes right now perfect sense in Paris too...

On a more serious note, the exhibition presents circa 50 Canaletto paintings of Venice, sourced from a variety of museums and private collections.

But last night, on the radio station Paris Classique, Josette has heard that the renowned Russian piano virtuoso Boris Berezovsky will give a recital Wednesday (tomorrow) night at the auditorium of the Musée du Louvre. Unfortunately, it turns out that the Auditorium’s box office is closed on Tuesdays and, as a result, I spend a considerable amount of time on the phone trying to find a “fnac” agency that would take our money and provide a couple of tickets for this recital. No luck; I am parked for the longest time on some “hold” line, and then the line drops.

I suggest to Josette a detour: we will go to the “fnac” agency on Champs-Elysées and try to buy the tickets there. It all happens along métro line 1, which usually does not involve climbing too many stairs. Said and done.

But at “fnac” it turn out that they do not sell tickets to the Louvre Auditorium, which would explain, maybe, why they left me on “hold” for so long. Anyway, a visit to “fnac” seldom ends without us buying something and we end up with a couple of CD collections, including Cecilia Bartoli’s latest album, and return to Concorde, where we link with line 12 to Rue du Bac and Musée Maillol.

The Canaletto exhibition is a revelation: quality works, including some large canvasses, and Canaletto's famous sketchbook. There is also a reconstruction of Canaletto’s no less famous optical chamber that, by a combination of optical lenses and dark room, made possible the width of field and accuracy of detail that are so characteristic to his works. And the bonus: to be in Paris, one of my favourite cities, and to enjoy the immortal “vedute” of Venice, another of my favourite cities. How fortunate we are!

After the exhibition we take a leisurely walk along rue du Bac and its elegant shops, stop for coffees under the heated awning of a café, and return to the apartment. We walked a lot today; the rain does not abate; we will spend the evening inside.

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Trip Report Pages

Wednesday, 12 September - Arrival and Settling in the Lower Marais

Thursday, 13 September - Making Sense of the Neighbourhood, between Rue de Rivoli and the Seine

Friday, 14 September - Expanding the Teritory and Another Torontonian in Paris

Saturday, September 15 - Rue Cler and Pont Louis-Philippe

Sunday, September 16 - Slow Travel Get-Together

Monday, September 17 - BHV;Memories; Temple of Nespresso; a Grand Concert

Tuesday, September 18-Wednesday, September 19 - Biennale des Antiquaires; Marché des Enfants-Rouges, on rue de Bretagne

Thursday, 20 September - Izraël-Le Monde des Epices; Mr. Pickwick sells Marc de Bourgone?

Friday, 21 September - It is About the Risotto; Intermezzo: Crosswalks of Paris

Saturday, 22 September - The Stravinsky Fountain; Back to rue François Miron; Meeting Dear Friends

Sunday, September 23 - Around the Marais with Friends; Alas, at Night the Rain Starts...

Monday, 24 September - GTG at Café des Musées; Thoughts for a Rainy Day

Tuesday, 25 September - Canaletto at Musée Maillol: Acqua Alta in Paris?; rue du Bac

Wednesday, September 26 - One Can't Fight Musée du Louvre; and More Rain...

Thursday, September 27 - Musée du Quai Branly; Village Saint-Paul&Place du Marché Saint-Catherine

Friday, 28 September - The Impressionists of the Le Havre Circle of Modern Art; Jardin du Luxembourg

Saturday, 29 & Sunday 30 September - Le Temps des Cerises; Sunday Morning Concert

Monday, 1 October - Wonderful Lunch at La Régalade Saint-Honoré; Getting Ready to Return Home

Au Revoir, à Bientôt!

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