Saturday, August 14, 2010

Last Day in Paris

What would you do if it were your last day in Paris?  Jim and Austin cannot answer that question because they left this morning for Norway at 8 am.  Kathy and I made sure the Picasso Museum was closed for two years, then we headed to a local market.  It was small, but the sharp eyes of Kathy discerned a small black coin purse laying next to a fish.  She pointed it out to the fish monger who looked up to find the little elderly Parisian woman to whom it belonged.  When he saw her wandering over to the fresh vegetables, he ran over and handed it to her and thanked Kathy profusely on his way back to his stand.  Major crisis for French woman averted by observant California tourist.

Next I introduced Kathy to the BHV, a huge department store of 8 floors.  We availed ourselves of their services and headed to the nearby Pompidou Centre to view their modern art.  One floor was a special exhibition of the works by the women held in the collection:  Elles@pompidoucentre.  It was extensive and amazing. 

Taking a break for lunch, we went back to the 5th floor restaurant with views of the Seine at the Bazaar de L'Hotel de Ville.  It poured rain as we sat and ate lasagne, bread, and a mixture of salads, dessert, wine, and cafe with other Parisians.

The rain stopped, and we returned to the Pompidou for the next floor of their main collection.  And that is what we did all afternoon.  It was so luxurious. What a great museum.  Big open spaces, plus lots of interesting nooks and crannies where old films illustrating the periods of art were playing.  I saw a copy of the Surrealist Manifesto.  One section was art created between 1905 and 1945 and another section featured artists working through the 60s.  From the large windows there were (post rain) fabulous views of all parts of the city.

For supper we wandered into our neighborhood marche, discovered various meat tangines, couscous, and mixed vegetables, and ate with the locals.  John, Erin, and Kylie came back around 8:30 pm, and Kylie is staying with us while they go out to eat and stroll on their last night in Europe.  They leave here in the morning about 4:30 am, and Becky and I are leaving for the train station at 7 am.  Much too short a visit, but sweet.

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