I’m nothing more than an art dilettante – ask Viv (she’s the real artist here), who has to put up with my aggravating conversations about how I don’t “get” certain types of (mostly contemporary) art. I appreciate the aesthetics of romanticism, and the meticulousness of pointilism. I love vibrant impressionism, and enjoy Renaissance portraits. But gosh, I just can’t wrap my head around contemporary art with its experiments in color and texture, that don’t tell a story. This is where Viv and I disagree, and off she goes to her contemporary art galleries, while I stroll south on Rue du Louvre.
Yes I am merely a dabbler in the arts, with no real background/qualification to speak of, but I’ve visited some of the world’s greats like the Met, the Smithsonians, the Hermitage, the O’rsay, the Vatican, the Getty, MOMA, etc… but nothing competes in sheer size and magnitude to the Musée du Louvre. Putting aside the conspiracy theories and Da Vinci Code madness, the Louvre is undeniably the world’s greatest museum, and unfortunately attracts millions of visitors a year – many of whom I wish had stayed home instead (yes, I’m talking about you-the-camera-whore-who-uses-flash!!!). The masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance painters, and the Hellenistic marble sculptures, to the Flemish and French, and even older Egyptian antiques, are all housed within the palace walls. There is so much history and literature to be learned at a museum, and I relish the opportunity to get inside those stories and relive them through the paintings or sculptures. They teach us so much about the course of human history.
Two cups of coffee, a croissant and a palmier, a million works of art, a lot of musing on the plight of humanity, and six hours later, I am exhausted but mentally sated. I drag my feet toward I.M. Pei’s infamous pyramid – the marriage of modern and classic – to be reunited with Viv at the surface. We hurry off (as fast as our tired feet would allow us) toward dinner while sharing stories of our day, the fascinating sites we encountered, and generally, each other’s company.
Borrowed from David Lebovitz
Right on our very own street and just around the corner from St. Eustache, is a big fat tourist trap. This is probably one of the most recommended escargot restaurants in Paris, and boooy, the price tag shows it. The food is undeniably good, the service impeccable. But at that price tag, I was wanting so much more.
The snails here are presented in an herbed cream sauce over buttery oven potatoes. Good, but not the best I had, and the portion size is so small!
Viv ordered the lamb chops, and you can ask her what she thought of it, as I was too absorbed in my own dish to grab a bite of hers.
My dorado with eggplant puree and tomato sauce was definitely good, if not a bit boring and safe. I wouldn’t recommend L’Escargot, just because I feel like at that price, I should be getting art on a plate – not safe and boring dishes. Know what I mean?
Minds and tummies full, we head to back our studio, not yet ready to accept that our trip is nearly over.