Europe

A Stylish Scarf Can Go a Long Way With Parisians


Wednesday, October 13th, 2004: Paris, France

Everyone has been commenting on my new scarf and how stylish and popular it is with Parsians. Just luck in the selection, I guess, and of course my strong sense of style. Bob needs and wants one too (a scarf that is, not a sense of style). So we set out today to do some shopping and a small museum called le Musée Jacquemart-André on the famous Boul. Haussmann. We poke our heads into a few stores and spend some time in Printemps, followed by a quick buzz through C&A. Bob decides on the Printemps scarf and we continue our walk along the boulevard. Lunch is in a typical Parisan business-man place, and we all have salades composés amidst the smoke and the cramped quarters of the restaurant.

The Jacquemart-André House

La Musée Jacquemart-André is housed in a beautiful hotel particulier on Boul. Haussmann and is about a 15 minute walk from our boisterous lunch. We arrive and walk up the carriageway to the front of the mansion, ingeniously placed away from the street so that there would not be a traffic jam when the Andrés entertained, and enter. As we were in the small palaces in St. Petersburg, we are greeted by opulent splendour and transported back to the house that the Parisian portraitist Nélie Jacquemart, a Catholic aristocrat who was commissioned to paint M. André’s (a Huguenot) portrait made their home and the showcase for their amazing art collection after their very unorthodox courtship and marriage. Throughout the museum we see pieces that they purchased from around the world on the advice (and request) of the Louvre curators, because the acquisition budget at the Louvre at the time was too small to allow it to purchase truly important pieces. It is an easy and lovely museum to walk. The temporary exhibit is a fascinating show, “les Trésoires de Napoleon” and traces many of his and Josephine’s personal belongings, both political and everyday.

And Out for Dinner

After 2 hours we go our separate ways, only to meet again in a few hours for dinner. It is Bob and Bill’s last night in Paris and we will head out for dinner later on. But not before getting caught in a power outage at Chatelet station on the Métro. We have had constant praise for the Métro in Paris: you never have to wait more than 2-3 minutes for a train and there hasn’t been any issue with service or trains (except for the long walks at some of the transfer points). It takes us over an hour and a half and six trains to get home and we only have time to change our clothes and head out again for dinner. Dinner is in a renowned Parisian brasserie that is listed in the Michelin guide and very close to the Place de la République. We have a very French waiter in a suit, some lovely seasonal charcuterie, and a couple of bottles of wine.

We wish Bob and Bill bon voyage and head for the last métro across the Seine to the left bank.

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