We of course have been to Paris before – and loved it. It’s such a wonderful city, with its beautiful buildings and parks and inviting bistros, and of course the food. Why not spend a few days there? And see more Impressionist paintings? And meet a friend who will join us there? Oh yeah.
We’ll visit two museums in subsequent posts, the Musée d’Orsay and the lesser known Orangerie Museum. We’ll also take in a church (they’re everywhere, they’re everywhere), the Church of Saint-Séverin, one of the oldest churches of the Latin Quarter (1200’s – 1500’s). But first, let’s walk around the wonderful downtown area. It’s all beautiful! Paris is a remarkably flat city with essentially no downtown skyscrapers to block views. The buildings share an unusually coherent architectural appearance; the later, more modern
buildings developed gradually from earlier styles. And everywhere there are architectural flourishes, statues, fountains, parks, bridges, the meandering Seine, old churches, museums, palaces, cool bistros – eye candy everywhere one looks. A good example of art that decorates so many buildings is shown here – a part of the Louvre that faces the Seine, along Quai François Mitterrand. Notice that even the building downspout is a work
of art – a stylized dolphin/fish connector on an intricately decorated pipe. Art is everywhere – in the windows, balconies, doors, lampposts, towers, church steeples – a quick sampling shown below.
Statues are everywhere, a few examples below;
as are fountains everywhere.
It’s a place for leisurely strolls along the Seine, or past the sidewalks and parks lined by
interesting street vendors. There are, of course, many very attractive restaurants, such as
the ones above; and some outstanding Art Deco restaurants like this one shown below.
We should not forget to mention the ubiquitous – and well patronized – Paris bistros
practically on every corner. And of course there is French food for sale just about
everywhere, looking oh-so-appetizing. How about a store dedicated to nougats? With a
choice from over a dozen different ones?
After seeing these pictures, isn’t it hard not to want to book a flight into Paris NOW! And cram that wonderful food into your mouth?
Finally, in addition to French cuisine, there is much to say of French wine. It’s truly classic. Although tastes may have evolved in some of us, those of a certain age tip their hats to the French. They elevated wine to an art form, and taught the world its pleasures. I’ll only note that in France, even the homeless need 2 bottles with dinner.
I hope you enjoyed this quick stroll through downtown Paris. It’s a remarkable city, and
it’s hard not to absolutely fall in love with it. Interestingly, if you stay up late enough (on a week day), you can almost have the city to yourself. It’s captivating!
The next post is a visit to the Musée d’Orsay to view some spectacular Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.