Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Grand Day In Paris

A group of us decided to go see the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris, and then have dinner at Le Grand would be a Grand day! The metro ride to the Champs-Elysee-Clemenceau stop was quick and upon exiting I wondered if going to the museum on such a beautiful day was the best thing to do. But...committed, as we entered the reflective entry, I was drawn in. I have never been a big Andy Warhol fan, but am interested in all art, and how the art evolved with the artist, current events of the time and history. I lived in NYC when Andy Warhol was a mainstay of the "Studio 54" disco crowd and saw his Pop Art portraits of the rich and famous continually turned out. Warhol once remarked that he wanted all his portraits to fit together and make one big painting called "Portraits of Society". Looking at them in this exhibit brings his vision to light. Most know Warhol from his Campbell Soup Can painting. The Pop Art movement had it's west coast debut with this exhibit, and he continued with this style in his portraits. The Marilyn Monroe

and Jackie Kennedy portraits
are probably the most notable. Portraits are a page in history and artists styles are a reflection of the mood of the time. In many ways his style was the Grand Daddy of Photoshop. Paris' Grand Palais added weight and grandeur to this exhibit. After absorbing it all, we descended the marble stairway to leave,
and the palatial windows framed the view as yet another work of art. Once back outside in the late afternoon sun, we shopped a little and then walked down the Rue de Rivoli to have a glass of wine at Cafe Marly, overlooking the Pyramids of the Louvre. It is an outdoor resting spot for many that is away from street traffic and has a view that changes with the light and the people of the world. We had a 7:30 reservation for dinner, which is early for Parisians, but perfect for us. The short walk to Le Grand Colbert, took us through the gardens of the Palais Royal with it's blooming roses and pruned tree lined path. Le Grand Colbert had a starring role in the movie, "Something's Gotta Give", with Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Keanu Reeves. It is a classic French brasserie with a warm, romantic elegance and service that was friendly and very attentive, even as the restaurant filled up....and did I mention the cute waiters? Sorry, no pics, you'll have to imagine! After appetizers of smoked salmon with a delicate herb goat cheese, and frogs legs, we dined on gigot of lamb with potato dauphinois, roast duck and carpaccio of beef. All were delicious except the tasteless frogs legs...give those legs back to the frogs! The chef owes them an apology. I dipped my crusty roll into the best part....the remaining garlic flavored oil. All in all, hardly a crumb was left and feeling just a little too satisfied to order dessert, we decided to walk back and have gelato in the Latin Quarter. That brought us back past the Louvre as the late setting evening sun was coming through the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and spotlighting the museum with light and shadow. Oh those French, the masters of know they planned it that way! Crossing the Seine to the Saturday night activities in the Latin Quarter, we ordered gelato at our regular spot. As the flower shaped creations started to drip in the warm evening air, we eagerly munched away before a picture was taken. Some things just can't wait. And yes, it was indeed a Grand Day in Paris.

Written and photographed by Diane.

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