Friday, November 6, 2009

I visit the Musee Rodin

I had quite a walk today. I headed off in the general direction of the Musee Rodin at around 11 o'clock. Arnaud's flat is east of most of the places I have been visiting: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, most of the museums, so I headed west, as usual, to the Bastille but once there took a left turn to hit the Seine which I walked alongside as I passed the I'lle Saint Louis and the I'lle de la Cite. I detoured to see Notre Dame again and briefly entertained a notion to climb up to the towers but when I saw there was a queue waiting I passed up the chance. Again that old acrophobia came into play a bit when I made that decision. Out in front of the cathedral I photographed a beggar in the most unusual garb I'd ever seen. He/She does a little bow and foot shuffle if you deposit a coin at her feet. I thought the costume very weird.

Nov 11th - Correction: Jana, my Berlin host, informed me that the person I thought was a beggar was actually a performing artist. There are many varieties of street performers in the large European cities. My very provincial first take on this person's performance was, well, provincial. What do you expect from a Homerite?

Just as I neared the museum I decided to override my earlier decision to skip lunch after I spotted a very inviting little cafe, the Cafe du Musee. My will power being what is is, power in name only. I went in, overcame the language barrier, and had myself a little lunch.  From the menu I chose a Parisienne Salad and because it seems that everyone in Paris has wine with their meals, I also chose a "pot" of Cote du Rhone. It turned out to be a very nice lunch. The little tray containing the condiments was cool too. It contained 2 small cruets for oil and vinegar, miniature salt and pepper shakers, and a tiny pot of mustard. Charming. Why does this sort of thing appeal to me I wonder? Anyway, here's a photo of the meal. Cost: salad 11 €, wine 6 €, total in USD, about $25. The house wines here have been uniformly excellent, by the way. I've been impressed with all three of the wines I've ordered in restaurants, two Cote du Rhones and a Chardonnay. I don't ordinarily like Chardonnays but the one I had the other night with Arnaud was excellent, and only 4 € for the glass.

Once inside the museum, I toured the garden and the museum itself. The garden was very peaceful compared the the rush of traffic outside the walls. I include a few shots of Rodin's works and some scenes from the garden below. I enjoyed everything but to my uneducated eye, the sculptures at the other museums were more sensuous, more life like. Well, there were some especially captivating ones. See below.

The image above of two lovers entwined seems lighter where their faces touch. The stone has been made so thin in that area its actually translucent.


From the Musee Rodin I walked a few miles back toward home, across the Seine once again and into the neighborhood of Le Louvre to visit the Musee Picasso. It had begun to rain by the time I left the Rodin museum so the walk was a bit wet. Being from Alaska I laugh at the Parisian rain this time of the year. It's so warm. I just dig out my Mountain Hardware rain jacket, put on my baseball hat and slog through it. When I finally arrived I learned that the museum was closed for renovations. It has been closed for two years! Should've looked that up on the Internet I guess.
BTW, I should explain something right now. You'll frequently see references to "steps" in this blog. My partner Doug is a bit of a driven soul. He bought a pedometer a few months ago and tries hard to walk every day. A pedometer records the number of steps taken in a day and can be a useful tool to motivate one to walk. At least that's the way it works for some folks. Eventually about a month ago I bought one too. And I must admit, recording the number of steps I've taken  (or not taken) each day has become addicting. Once calibrated for a given individual it can calculate calories burned and miles walked but the essential thing is that it can encourage you walk those steps each day. The guideline, arbitrary as it may be, is 10,000 steps per day. As Doug often says, "I gotta get those 10,000 steps done before I feel entitled to drink that bottle of beer after dinner." Today I turned in my personal best record of 26,619 steps.
If you want to buy one for yourself, here is an excellent one. About $25 bucks from Amazon:

I saw some graffiti in the neighborhood of the Musee Picasso that I forgot to add earlier. This first one will likely offend some of you but remember, it's just one person's artistic expression.