Sunday, September 30, 2012

Brunch at La Rue Montorgueil

There's something special about market streets in Paris. They don't just have fresh food and flowers but any business you could possibly need. This one, located in the 2e arrondissement on the edge of the 1e, is particularly convenient for visitors as it's so centrally located. Although crowded on a Saturday morning, its ancient charm prevails.

I recommend sitting down for brunch in one of the many restaurants to watch the crowds of tourists and Parisians mingle. Au Rocher de Cancale is especially affordable at 13 euros for a generous and delicious prix-fixe menu. 

Then, perhaps you can pick up some honey bread, drop off your dry cleaning, and sit down for one more coffee.
La Rue Montorgueil
Où? On rue Montorgueil from rue de Turbigo to rue Réaumur, Paris 75002
Quand? Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday morning
Comment? Metro Les Halles, Étienne Marcel, Sentier

Friday, September 28, 2012

Le musée Fragonard

At 6 years old, I was convinced I should be a veterinarian. I'd always preferred stuffed animals over dolls, I often played "vet", and the local veterinarian hospital had a small apartment above it with big windows in front, otherwise known as the perfect place for my easel. Somewhere between then and now though, I realized I don't love biology.
With that said, I didn't expect not enjoy France's oldest and one of the world's first veterinarian museums. And yet, I didn't. I attribute this to its unique origins as first, a cabinet of curiosities (a random collection of spectacularly odd items meant to shock and impress fellow Renaissance aristocrats), and second as an educational space for veterinary students. I am neither. Still, I appreciate it as the most unique museum space I've ever been to! As for those with interests in biology, medicine, and the intersection between the arts and sciences, I highly recommend you visit as well.
Où? 7 avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94700 Maisons-Alfort
Quand?Wednesday & Thursday, 2pm-6pm; Saturday ; Sunday, 1pm-6pm
Comment?Metro Ecole Vétérinaire de Maisons-Alfort; RER Maisons-Alfort; Bus 24, 203, 204, 207, 125, 78, 325

Monday, September 24, 2012

Musée Carnavalet

This past Sunday, my best friend and I accidentally stumbled upon le Musée Carnavalet. Admittingly, we hadn't meant to pay the museum a visit, but after wandering through the exhibits for a while and then being unable to find our way out (thus wandering through the exhibits a while longer), I'm pretty sure we covered the entirety of Paris' history...
Stunning, isn't it all? I should get lost more often. Paris is apparently the most perfect place for it.
Musée Carnavalet
Où? 23 rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris
Quand? Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm
Comment? Metro Saint-Paul, Rambuteau, Chemin Vert; Bus 29, 69, 76, 96

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Behind the scenes at MAM

In my last post I spoke of the MAM's new logo and my first visit to its permanent exhibitions. What I failed to mention, however, is that I also had a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of the museum. It was fascinating to see the invisible hands and the hard work that gets put into even the "simplest" of exhibits. We had the chance to meet the curators behind the upcoming exhibitions and listen as they spoke about the artist and their work. Amazing, right?
It was. Modern and contemporary art museums like this one are exceptionally mobile and the ideology and intention behind each work and each exhibit can easily be lost in that movement. Although I believe they are still more visible than those at other art museums, they're difficult to grasp for the untrained eye and uninformed mind. Discovering Bertille Bak's inspiration for her work (marginal communities) and the role these people play in creating her exhibits was incredible. She literally spent months living amongst nomadic Romanians. Then, to learn the great historical influences in Slovakian artist, Roman Ondák's works! My gosh. I would have no idea otherwise, let alone such a thorough understanding. As I recently read in Museum Materialities:
"...most often it [the object-information package] does so almost entirely through textually-provided meaning, and threatens to foreclose a more basic, but no less potent, bodily and emotional response to the material itself (c.f. Greenblatt's view of what museums have lost in evolving from temples of wonder to temples of resonance, 1991). 
Next week, when I go to the opening, a night when the museum will surely be all decked out in their entertaining best, I'll have that privileged background to lead me through the halls of the MAM. What an honor.

Friday, September 21, 2012

(The new) Musée d'Art Modern de la Ville de Paris

Yesterday, I visited the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, otherwise known as the MAM. They've recently launched a new logo to unify the variety of ever-changing modern and contemporary art exhibitions. It's design is representative of the museum's three levels, active state of being, and ability to evoke shock and surprise. 
Being as it was my first time, I was certainly taken aback by its contents. I'm especially looking forward to the opening night of the Bertille Bak's "Circuits" video installations and Roman Ondák's solo show! Until then, here's a look at the permanent exhibitions and the Generation Design exhibit in conjunction with ELLE Décoration:

Musée d'Art Modern de la Ville de Paris
Où? 11 Avenue de Président Wilson, 75116 Paris 
Quand? Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm
Comment? Metro Alma-Marceau or Iéna; RER C Pont de l'Alma; Bus 32, 42, 63, 72, 80, 92

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rick Steve's favorite: La Rue Cler

In 1972, National Geographic printed Gordon W. Gahan's photo of a Parisian market:

Romantic, isn't it? Much like most people's view of Paris. That's not say, however, that Parisian markets don't still hold that same dreamlike charm... because they do. I know this even just after one market visit. My first, Rue Cler, is a lovely market street located conveniently close to AUP's campus (and the Eiffel Tower) in the 7th arronidssement. 

Amongst rows of vibrant fruits and vegetables (and the essential boulangerie), gourmet shops like Jeff de Bruges, Davoli, La Mère de la Famille, au nom de la rose, and Amorino can also be found here; That is to say, some of the highest quality chocolate, Italian specialties, floral arrangements, and gelato. And if you wish to dine or just want to have a coffee and people watch, there are various cafés and bistros to choose from. Le Petit Cler is my favorite.
La Rue Cler
Où? Rue Cler runs from Rue de Grenelle to avenue de la Motte Picquet, 75007 Paris
Quand? Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday mornings
Comment? Metro École Militaire