Everything in Immoderation: Art and Eating in Paris

So many museums and cafes, so little time! We had a week’s worth of “must-do’s” still on our list, but the clock was ticking and we had a train to catch. Alexandra must have discovered the powers of teleportation to do everything she did while in Paris, but then, she is young and able and we are…not.

However, like Churchill, we refused to surrender, and decided to moosh as much as we could into the countdown.

We walked past Winston several times in les jardins des Champs Elysees. His statue is inscribed with his famous words “We will never surrender”

After the Musee Rodin and a brief rest, we took a cab to the Musee d’Orsay, which kindly stays open late on Friday evenings. Oh la la! We could have spent an entire week there! As it was, we gorged ourselves on room after room of Gaugins, Van Goghs, Vuillards, Bonnards, Millets – it was a feast of favorites!

Photography is not permitted at the Orsay, which was too bad, since I wanted to send Michael a snap of his Monet: La Pie:

“La Pie” or “The Magpie” (image from seinevalley.com)

The CE and I each whittled down our favorites to one each. Mine was William Bouguereau’s Dante and Virgil:

As if I needed any help laying awake at night — this certainly did it! (image from theartribune.com)

The CE couldn’t take his eyes off of Van Gogh’s haunting self-portrait, painted not long before his death in 1890:

Self-Portrait, 1889

And, of course, the museum building would be worth visiting even if no paintings were hung inside. The former Orsay railway station, built for the 1900 World’s Fair, is memorable for its expanse of glass roof:

The former Gare d’Orsay. Endless treasures await in the alcoves along the sides of the ground and first floors.

This was our third museum of the day, so we were not up for much of a tromp afterwards in search of dinner. We were cranky, tired and hungry. Luckily, we happened upon La Ferme Saint-Simon just a few blocks away and had one of our favorite meals in Paris. We didn’t have reservations, but they beckoned us inside and made us feel entirely welcome.

Le menu

Dover sole, prepared tableside, of course.

“I’ll have one of everything, s’il vous plait”

The CE went for the Cafe Gourmand for dessert and later realized that espresso before bedtime might not be the way to go for time-zoned-out travelers.

After dinner, we walked across the Pont Alexandre III (which no doubt groaned under our weight after such a meal!) and lingered a bit alongside the Seine before returning to our hotel. A perfect end to a perfect day in Paris.

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in Big Fun, Dante/Divine Comedy, Gastronomy, Music/Art/Literature/Culture, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Everything in Immoderation: Art and Eating in Paris

  1. polloplayer says:

    CE with Traveler’s Tip #8: High Fashion for Gentlemen

    First I wish to add that the wonderful photos of the beautiful objects we saw in Paris will help me recall this trip with great fondness. We are so grateful to have had this opportunity.

    Although I have a great deal to impart to our lady friends regarding their dress while abroad, I am afraid the following tips will only aid the gentlemen among you. First let us begin with a sound foundation.

    The first core item of clothing for the well dressed gentleman abroad would be his hose. So it is essential that 6-8 pairs of white “tube” socks constitute his fashion foundation. These can be found at Costco in bundles of 12 pairs for $10 so there is no need to strain the travel budget. The tubes will go nicely with any footwear and can dress up any outfit. For touring, the tubes offer comfort and endurance. For evening events they add a dash of the unexpected as they contrast sportily with the dark suit and dress shoes. Speaking of shoes, the Tipster strongly recommends flip-flops for nearly any occasion, including Monte Carlo formals and even Alpine hiking.

    Moving north, our gentleman will require trousers of the finest quality, yet these must travel well and maintain form under the stress of the journey. Prevailing European fashion norms leave only limited options: 1. For the casual look you must go with the bib jeans favored by Iowa farmers. 2. For evening galas stay with the classic “flood pants” which should bottom out about 4″ below the knee. This look also allows a full and clean “reveal” of those bleached white tube socks.

    Finishing our gentleman’s look would be a selection of “pirate shirts” with the fine, billowy sleeves. For extended trips you will need two solid colors of your choice, one plaid, one floral and a crazy silvered polyester version for impressing Euro-chicks at the disco.

    For the coup de’ resistance our fellow will require headgear. Two should suffice: A raspberry beret and a felt Alpine hat, with feather, in the standard green color. Thus is the “European” look created for our gentleman of fashion.

    The final tip: If you are arrested for committing violence against local dress codes, first try bribing the local gendarme with a 5 Euro note and if that fails plead temporary insanity.

  2. Katherine says:

    Let’s see… I was reading the blog entry thinking “the CE and I have the same esthetic taste – I had to be pulled away from Van Gogh’s portrait as well.” (I still remember that I felt I could count the hairs on his head – amazing detail.) And then I got to the CE’s travel tip of the day…. forget espresso, I may not sleep with the images of these “well-dressed” traveling gentlemen in my head.

  3. polloamigo says:

    Wow. Tube socks, huh? I’m at a loss for words…

  4. jess says:

    Tube socks! Finally, I know what to get the CE for Christmas!

  5. alexandra says:

    Well I did discover the powers of teleportation! But it sounds like you two visited just as many places as I did. Such great re-caps. I feel like I’m back in Paris. Although next time I do need to visit that restaurant and see that cheese platter. It looks amazing.

  6. jess says:

    Sorry to be off-topic, but:


    Hope this link works. This is right up M2 and CE’s alley, and I hope you watch the video and provide us with comments! It’s Dizzy’s doppelganger-siamese twin!

    I don’t know the best way to get in touch with you these days, but assume that since polloplayer gets regular updates, it might be one of the best!

  7. Ang says:

    Did Hermes lock their doors when they saw the CE coming like they did to Oprah? “Francois!!! Batten down the hatch! Clark Griswald is heading this way!”

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