Paris — 25 September 2015

I hate those people next door! I happened to wake up at 2:30 and moments later I hear the front door latch open. They had dinner and cleaned the kitchen. I could hear the TV for hours because I never went back to sleep!

Today we begin our day at the Petite Palais. It is a free museum and it is our first time to see it (continuing on our quest to see new sites). I’m not sure I can summarize the museum’s theme of artistic offerings. But I will say that the first couple of painting galleries just knock our socks off. (Of course we pick up after ourselves as we leave.) It is the “grand format” paintings that are so incredible. Leon Lhermitte has a painting of the old Paris market, Les Halle. There are two very erotic lesbian paintings by Gustave Courbet. Fernand Pelez’s Grimaces and Misery is particularly incredible and his Without Roof is notable because of the current refugee situation here. Charles Giron’s Woman Wearing Gloves is beautiful in person because you could see the details on her gown. George Clarin’s painting of Sara Bernhardt is soooo dramatic–as it should be! There is a Monet, Sun Setting on the Seine. And Victor Schnetz has grand French Revolution paintings. About 2/3 of the museum is uninteresting to us but the first part is unforgettable.

We next head off to the Quai Branly Museum. We have a nice lunch at the Museum’s cafe which is situated in a very interesting garden. I have a Caesar Salad and Howard has Steak Tartar.

Opened in 2006, the museum is dedicated to the civilizations and arts of Africa, Asia, Oceana and the Americas. The collection includes nearly 300,000 works dating from the 2nd millennium B.C. to the start of the 21st century. The temporary exhibition was “Tattoos.” The walk to the entrance is really neat! There is a “stream” of words projected on the floor–looking just like a flow of water. The words evoke the theme of the museum: river, family, community, art, etc. The words flow up along the edges of the walkway just like water. It is a really effective visual as we make our way to the heart of the museum.

You could spend hours in this museum! The primitive art is truly incredible. The tattoo exhibit looks interesting but our feet are aching and seeing videos of people being pounded by needles and ink just does not turn us on. We happily take a taxi back to the apartment.

In our past visits to Paris, we never considered taking taxis; we always took the Metro. But the taxis are not that expensive (normally about 10€) and it is sooooo nice to get back home quickly.

As we recuperate and put our legs up at home, we hear the sound of a non-stop trumpet player. It is an elderly man who frequents our neighborhood playing his trumpet. I think he does it because he likes it–not because he is busking. (We “enjoy” his music many time over our remaining time here.)

We originally had planned to stay at home and have a rabbit dinner. But we are too tired to make dinner and decide to visit a Greek restaurant we have been to many times while in Paris, Evi Evane. The last 2 times we were here we had our sweet poodles with us, Leo and Lucien. It is a bittersweet memory for us! It was raining really hard when we brought them in their cute yellow rain slickers. The server was welcoming and set us at a table for 4 with plenty of room. (In Paris normally we were only able to sit at a meager 2 person table with absolutely no room for the dogs.)

We arrive at 7 which is a sure indication that we are Americans–all other people arrive at 8. But we have the full attention of a very sweet young lady for our entire meal. We tell her about our last visit with the dogs. Poor thing, she asks where the dogs are now. We say in heaven and the three of us look sad.

We had an incredible meal! We enjoyed a red Greek wine that our server recommended. We started with an octopus salad for Howard and Dolmas for me. We both thought our dishes were incredible. And the pita bread is home-made!!! We both had the traditional Moussaka for our main dish. We could only finish half of our moussaka so we sheepishly ask if she could package it up for us to take home. In France, doggie-bags are unknown! And that sweet girl did just that for us.

I had baclava for dessert (it was incredible!!!) and Howard (stupidly) had lime sorbet. It was a wonderful evening. Our server helped us with her English and of course we tried with our meager French.

I hope we can make it back before we leave.

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